The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

DUA Memo on SSI/SSDI and UI Eligibility

Date: 
03/08/2010
Author: 
Paul Connolly, DUA

We had noticed that SSI/ SSDI applicants/recipients were being terminated from Unemployment Insurance on the (legally erroneous) presumption that the individual was incapable of working without any inquiry about whether the individual could work part time or could work either full time or part time with or without a reasonable accommodation. DUA agreed to put a stop to this and sent out the attached memo to the field, discussing UI eligibility in light of receipt of or application for SSI or SSDI benefits. Referenced in Q. 7 of the 2010-2011 UI Advocacy Guide.

The memo notes that "The mere fact that individuals have applied for, or are receiving SSI/SSDI does not automatically preclude them from receiving UI benefits."   It describes what type of documentation is needed to show that the individual is capable of working.  Sample documentation is on the 2010-2011 UI Advocacy Guide, at Appendix Q.

Advocates may also be interested in a memo by the Judge Frank Cristaudo at SSA discussing that receipt of SSI does not automatically preclude receipt of disability payments.  It is available at http://www.masslegalservices.org/node/37847  

July 2011 Update:  advocates should be aware of a negative case, Roberts v. Astrue, Slip Copy, 2011 WL 3163257 (D.Mass.), holding that the ALJ properly considered the plaintiff's receipt of unemployment insurance in the assessment of her credibility regarding her disability (application for UI is significant in that it suggests applicant is wiling and able to work).  

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PDF icon SSI SSDI Memo Final.pdf11.12 KB

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