[Excerpt] Although Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) both provide income support to eligible individuals, the two programs serve largely separate populations. SSDI provides monthly cash benefits to statutorily disabled individuals who worked in jobs covered by Social Security and to their dependents. UI, on the other hand, provides temporary cash assistance to involuntarily unemployed workers who meet the requirements of state law. Under certain circumstances, however, some individuals may be concurrently (simultaneously) eligible for benefits under both programs.
Numerous proposals have been introduced in the 113th Congress to prevent or offset concurrent receipt of SSDI and UI benefits. Proponents of these bills contend that concurrent receipt of SSDI and UI benefits is “double dipping” or duplicative, inasmuch as each payment serves the same function of replacing lost earnings. Opponents, however, argue that dual receipt of UI and SSDI benefits is consistent and appropriate under law, because the SSDI program actively encourages beneficiaries to return to work through various work incentives.
This report provides background on SSDI and UI and explains how individuals may be eligible for both programs at the same time. It also summarizes the competing arguments for and against concurrent eligibility and examines many of the legislative proposals formally introduced in the 113th Congress to eliminate or reduce concurrent receipt of SSDI and UI benefits.