We recently had a similar question come up with one of our clients. The short answer is yes. There are no laws or provisions prohibiting a person from receiving unemployment while they are applying for disability. Applying for, and waiting out, disability can be a long process. More often than not, disability can take up to two years (and sometimes more) from the date of filing to a hearing. As such, unemployment is often the only income available to the injured during that period.
However, receiving unemployment does pose some complications when trying to demonstrate disability. In order to receive unemployment, one has to tell the unemployment office that they are ready, willing, and able to work. In contrast, to receive disability, you are effectively alleging that your condition(s) prevents you from being able to perform any type of work on a full-time and consistent basis. Consequently, these two standards are essentially contrary to each other and one has to be prepared to answer the natural question that arises from the receipt of unemployment while an application for disability is pending.
The receipt of unemployment is not dispositive, but is just one of many factors that Social Security and its Administrative Law Judges consider when determining whether a person is disabled. Our experienced attorneys stand by ready to answer your questions regarding this, and any other issues that may arise in your claim, as well as guide you through the disability process.