Ask Larry

Does Collecting Unemployment Benefits Affect SSDI Benefits If A Person's TWP Has Been Completed?

Hello Larry, I just found you & have a deadline tomorrow (12/17/20) for redetermination protest for unemployment (I made an error on a form). I receive SSDI but accidentally used my TrialWorkPeriod as a substitute teacher/teacher aide (no pay stubs & went slightly over 5 different months). Here we are in the CV19 pandemic & have been able to do a touch a subbing (many subs seeking work!) while maybe getting retro unemployment. I've read that one is able to receive unemployment & not have impact on SSDI. However, I haven't read the ability for one to receive it if they have used the TWP. I'd be in a lot of "trouble" if my benefits, Medicare and monthly payments of $603.50, were extinguished. I thank you for your response if you're able & especially if it can be done by 4:00 PM EasternSTime tomorrow, 12/17/20. I understand if you're not able! Thank you for helping others & possible me!! Beth

Hi Beth,

No. Receipt of unemployment insurance doesn't affect Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits regardless of whether or not you've completed any or all of the 9 trial work months of your trial work period (TWP). Only earned income (i.e. wages or self-employment earnings) counts toward the TWP limit, so receiving unemployment insurance won't cause you to use any TWP months.

Nor does receipt of unemployment benefits count when determining substantial gainful activity (SGA). SSDI benefits could only stop if the SSDI recipient produces earned income in excess of the SGA limit after they've completed their TWP, and unemployment insurance is not considered as earned income. The monthly SGA amount for non-blind individuals in 2020 was $1260, and in 2021 it will be $1310.

Best, Jerry

Dec 17 2020 - 9:30am
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