Most of our clients are surprised when we tell them there are circumstances when they can receive both workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits at the same time. In fact, the interplay between workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits occurs at a beneficial time for our clients and it is important to understand how this works.
To start, if your doctor is reporting a 100% total disability, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. An individual needs to be ready, willing and able to work to qualify for unemployment benefits, and an opinion of total disability means you are not “physically able.”
However, it is common for your doctor to reduce your disability to partial, say with physical restrictions limiting lifting, standing, walking, stooping and the like, while at the same time your employer tells you that you are not allowed to return until you are completely recovered and have no restrictions. In this situation, workers’ compensation benefits are reduced, but assuming you have enough credits, you can recoup the reduction in the form of unemployment benefits. Both the Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Laws require a continued effort looking for work within your restrictions. You can apply for unemployment benefits online here and we urge you to do so if you believe you are eligible.
As always, if you have questions concerning your claim, please call contact us here at Zea Proukou PLLC.