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Collecting Long Term Disability Benefits and Unemployment Benefits at the Same Time in California

Get Legal Advice on How to Collect LTD and Unemployment Benefits at the Same Time in California

If you’re struggling to collect long-term disability benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time in California, Haffner Law can help. Our California disability attorney understands the complexities of these situations and has the knowledge and experience needed to help you navigate the legal system with confidence.

At Haffner Law, we believe that everyone deserves access to high-quality legal representation. That’s why we offer free case reviews to prospective clients, allowing you to discuss your case with one of our disability lawyers through a free case review.

So if you need legal assistance with collecting long-term disability benefits and unemployment benefits, don’t hesitate to contact Haffner Law today. Our dedicated team of disability lawyers is ready to fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Why Do I Need a Disability Attorney in California?

If you’re living with a disability in California and unable to work, you may be eligible for both disability and unemployment benefits. However, proving your inability to work can be challenging, especially without substantial medical evidence. This is where a disability attorney such as Haffner Law comes in. Our experienced disability attorney can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that your rights are protected.

Here are some key points to consider when working with a disability attorney:

  • A disability attorney can assess your case in light of the eligibility criteria for both long-term disability and unemployment benefits.
  • With a comprehensive analysis, an attorney can provide you with the right guidance on your options and the likelihood of success.
  • Proceeding without legal assistance may negatively impact your chances of qualifying for either long-term disability or unemployment benefits.
  • A disability attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence, submit your application on time, and appeal any unfavorable decisions.
  • At Haffner Law, we offer a free case review to help you determine the best course of action for your specific circumstances.

If you’re struggling to obtain disability benefits in California, don’t hesitate to seek professional legal advice. Contact Haffner Law today to schedule your free case review and learn how we can assist you in obtaining the disability benefits you are entitled to.

What is the Difference Between Unemployment Benefits and Disability Benefits?

Unemployment benefits are usually managed by a state agency and are designed for individuals who are able and willing to work but have lost their job through no fault of their own. To qualify for unemployment benefits, claimants must confirm that they are capable of working either full-time or part-time, depending on their state’s regulations, and that they are actively searching for work.

In contrast, long-term disability benefits are provided by private insurers and are intended for individuals who are unable to work due to an illness or injury. The challenge with receiving both benefits concurrently is that it may create conflicting messages regarding your ability to work. 

Claiming unemployment benefits could suggest that you are ready to work while claiming long-term disability benefits indicates that you are incapable of working.

What are California Unemployment Eligibility Requirements?

Employees in California who experience a temporary job loss that is not their fault can claim unemployment benefits. To be eligible for these benefits, the Employment Development Department (EDD) of California considers several factors such as prior earnings, the cause of unemployment, and other eligibility criteria.

Three requirements must be fulfilled to qualify for unemployment benefits in California.

  • You must have earned a minimum salary in the past.
  • You must be unemployed due to circumstances beyond your control.
  • You must be qualified, accessible, and actively seeking employment.

When you apply for unemployment benefits, the EDD reviews your employment record and income history. Typically, the department considers your earnings during the one-year base period, which encompasses the first four of the five full calendar quarters before you submitted your application for unemployment.

To be eligible for unemployment benefits in California, applicants must have earned a minimum amount of income, specifically:

  • $1,300 during the base period’s highest-paying quarter
  • $900 in their highest-paid quarter of the base period and at least 1.25 times their highest-paid quarter earnings during the entire base period

What Are Long-Term Disability Eligibility Requirements?

For individuals covered under long-term disability policies provided by their employer, there is typically a waiting period or service wait that must be fulfilled before they can claim benefits. This waiting period refers to a specified duration of time that an employee must have worked for their employer before becoming eligible for long-term disability coverage.

Similarly, for those covered under professional or association-based long-term disability policies, there is a designated membership period that must be met before benefits can be claimed. During this period, an individual must be a member of the group or association for a predetermined amount of time.

What are Some of California’s Unemployment Benefits?

The California Unemployment Insurance (UI) program offers temporary financial assistance to individuals who are jobless through no fault of their own, provided that they fulfill all the necessary California requirements. Below are some of the various types of unemployment insurance claims that can be filed in California:

Regular Unemployment Benefits

Your application for unemployment benefits is calculated based on the income you earned from employers who are governed by the California UI Code and compensated from the UI fund. Specifically, your claim is based on the wages earned in particular quarters in California.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

These claims are included in the latest federal provisions designed to assist unemployed Californians who are typically not eligible for state UI benefits. Such individuals may include business proprietors, self-employed laborers, independent contractors, and those with minimal employment experience who are currently out of business or have substantially reduced their services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unemployment Benefits for Federal Employees

These types of claims extend unemployment benefits to former or partially unemployed federal civilian employees who have previously worked for various government agencies, such as the United States Postal Service or Internal Revenue Service. These claims are supported by the federal government and must adhere to standard state eligibility criteria.

Unemployment Benefits for Ex-Service Members

This program offers unemployment benefits to discharged service members upon their exit from active military service. These claims are also financed by federal funds and must follow the standard state eligibility requirements.

Joint Claims

A joint claim pertains to a claim that employs earnings from multiple sources during the base period, such as federal civilian or military wages, in addition to regular state-covered wages. These types of claims rely on both California wages and federal wages.

Interstate Claims

These types of claims can be submitted in California to claim unemployment benefits based on earnings from another state. An individual who recently relocated to California from New York and is currently unemployed would file an “interstate claim.”

Training Extensions

These claims extend extra benefits to eligible claimants of the California Training Benefit (CTB) program on top of their regular claims. The CTB program grants benefits to claimants who require training or retraining for job skills and allows them to receive benefits while attending the said programs.

Work Sharing

In California, this program enables the disbursement of UI benefits to workers of participating employers who have experienced a reduction in their hours and wages. These claims serve as a substitute for layoffs.

What is a Common Employer-Provided LTD Insurance Policy?

Group long-term disability (LTD) benefits usually kick in after sick leave and short-term disability benefits run out, providing about 60% of one’s pay. On the other hand, Social Security disability benefits depend on lifetime earnings and have an average monthly payment of around $1,500 per month (some high-earners can receive over $3,000 per month).

Meanwhile, SSI pays even less, with the federal monthly payment at approximately $900 per month for those with no other income, and California also provides a small state supplementary payment to most SSI recipients.

Am I Eligible for Both Unemployment and Long-Term Disability Benefits?

Long-term disability insurance companies and plan administrators may view your application for unemployment benefits negatively and use it against you. They may perceive your application as an indication that you are capable of working, thereby questioning your disability claim. 

They may also doubt your credibility, as you are claiming to be unable to work for disability benefits while also asserting to the unemployment agency that you are prepared and able to work.

When Can I Collect Both Unemployment and Long-Term Disability Benefits?

If an individual has an “own occupation” policy or a hybrid policy during the first 24 months, they may qualify for both LTD and unemployment benefits if they can show that they’re capable of performing some kind of work, even if they’re unable to perform their previous job. 

However, their state unemployment agency may deny them unemployment benefits if they believe the individual stopped working “voluntarily and without good cause,” and the definition of this standard varies by state. It’s important to note that the unemployment agency may contact the employer to inquire about the nature of the individual’s work separation. 

If the LTD policy provides partial disability benefits, there is a higher chance of receiving both partial LTD benefits and unemployment benefits since the receipt of partial LTD benefits is less likely to be used against the individual by the state unemployment agency. It is possible that an individual could be “partially disabled” and still be unable to maintain their previous earnings from full-time work but capable of working certain types of jobs. 

Do Insurance Companies Deduct Unemployment Benefits From Long-Term Disability Benefits?

Long-term disability policies usually have LTD offsets for “other income benefits” like Social Security disability payments, workers’ compensation, third-party settlements, and even unemployment benefits. When someone receives both LTD and unemployment benefits, LTD insurers often deduct the monthly unemployment amount from their monthly LTD payments. 

Therefore, if someone receives $1,400 per month in LTD benefits and is approved for $1,000 each month in unemployment benefits, the LTD insurer would pay a reduced benefit of $400 as long as they receive $1,000 per month in unemployment benefits.

Offsets for unemployment benefits and other forms of income are common to both individual and group LTD policies, but some individual policies exclude certain offsets in exchange for higher monthly premiums.

Work with Our Seasoned California Disability Attorney Today

If you’re struggling with obtaining unemployment benefits or long-term disability insurance, you may feel overwhelmed by the complex legal processes and the tactics of insurance companies. However, you don’t have to fight this battle alone. Haffner Law has attorneys who can assist you in your pursuit of justice.

Our California disability attorney is committed to fighting for your rights and ensuring that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. We understand the tactics that insurance companies use to deny claims, and we’re not afraid to take them on. Whether you’re dealing with the simultaneous collection of long-term disability and unemployment benefits in California, we can help.

We’ll guide you through the legal process, explain your options, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of you. Contact Haffner Law today, and let us fight for you. We also provide legal assistance for birth injury malpractice, brain injury, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and workplace injuries.

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