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SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AND UNEMPLOYEMENT BENEFITS IN UTAH

In a series of unfortunate cases in which the attorneys did not understand the Social Security law on “inability to work,” the Utah courts have ruled that claiming Social Security Disability Benefits and unemployment benefits are inconsistent. The ruling is based on the assertion in an application for unemployment benefits that a person can work, and the assertion in a Disability Benefits application that a person cannot work. Receiving both can result in the State of Utah claiming back the unemployment benefits.

The error in the analysis is that Social Security benefits make allowances for age, education, and past relevant work experience, and don’t make a broad determination as to whether one can do any work. Consequently, a person who is age 50 and now limited to sedentary work, and who only has past unskilled heavy labor experience, is considered disabled, even though they could do sedentary work. Thus, the questions for the two different benefits are different.

However, as this is the law in Utah, receiving unemployment benefits and Social Security Benefits at the same time is a dangerous tactic.