Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits and Social Security at the Same Time?

social security

Social Security and unemployment benefits are both helpful for people to get additional cash if they don’t earn enough income. Social Security insurance is valuable for the disabled and retirees, while unemployment benefits are helpful for the jobless.

However, did you know that you can collect both benefits simultaneously?

You only have to know how to simultaneously apply for Social Security and unemployment benefits to prepare for a complex process. Read on for a quick guide.

Understanding Social Security and Unemployment Benefits

You must first understand how Social Security and unemployment benefits work to enjoy them both.

  • Social Security Benefits

Social Security benefits are for retirees and people who can’t work because of disabilities. However, some survivors of deceased Social Security enrollees can also collect benefits.

Here is how to qualify for Social Security benefits:

  1. You need to earn 40 credits to qualify for retirement benefits, and one credit is equal to $1,510 net income.
  2. You can only earn up to four credits a year. So, you need ten years to gain 40 credits.
  3. You can collect partial benefits at the age of 62, full benefits at 65, and a higher insurance amount beyond that age.
  4. You can claim disability benefits if you sustain a physical or psychological problem that limits your ability to work. You need 20 credits to qualify for disability benefits.

You can apply for Social Security benefits at the Social Security Administration (SSA) website or visit a local SSA office.

  • Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are financial assistance for people who lost their job. However, you only qualify if you meet any of these points:

  1. You lost your job because of a company layoff.
  2. You were discharged because of poor work performance.
  3. You quit because of compelling valid reasons. Examples are workplace discrimination, unsafe working environment, and critical family problems.

Aside from the points above, remember that you can only collect unemployment benefits if you are actively looking for another job. You need to accept any suitable job opportunity you receive.

Moreover, remember that you cannot enjoy these benefits if you have done any misconduct that forced your employer to fire you.

An unemployment insurance office can help you file a claim, as the Employment Development Department(EDD) in California.

How to Collect Social Security and Employment Benefits Together


The process of claiming both benefits together is similar to applying for each program individually.

You need to contact their respective offices to apply, and then you must go through their application processes.

You don’t need to inform the unemployment insurance office that you’re collecting Social Security benefits. However, it is better to tell the unemployment office about it for proper documentation.

Will You Receive a Reduced Amount if You Collect Both Benefits?

People who previously received social security insurance used to receive lower unemployment benefits. However, only Minnesota follows that offset formula today.

Remember that both the Social Security and unemployment benefits impose particular limits on the income you can earn from other sources. And you will get lower benefits if your earnings exceed those limits.

However, the SSA doesn’t consider employment benefits an income that you should report. All states, except Minnesota, also don’t count Social Security insurance as an income when applying for unemployment benefits.

It means that you can enjoy the benefits you deserve from both entities.

Consult a Glendale Social Security Benefits Attorney to Claim Both Benefits

While applying for Social Security and unemployment benefits is possible, you may face some complications while filing your claims.

It is better to consult a reliable Social Security benefits lawyer in Glendale who will guide and smoothen your filing process.

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