[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 long-term benefits to statutorily disabled individuals who worked in jobs covered by Social Security and to their eligible dependents. In contrast, UI provides temporary benefits to involuntarily unemployed workers who meet the requirements of state law. Under certain circumstances, however, individuals are eligible for both programs.
Several proposals have been introduced in the 114th Congress to prevent or reduce concurrent receipt of SSDI and UI benefits. Proponents of these bills contend that concurrent receipt is “double dipping” or duplicative, inasmuch as each payment serves the same function of replacing lost earnings. Opponents argue that concurrent receipt of SSDI and UI 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 concurrently. It also summarizes the competing arguments for and against concurrent eligibility and examines the legislative proposals introduced in the 114th Congress to deny or offset the SSDI benefits of individuals in receipt of UI. The report ends with a discussion of potential issues in implementing such proposals. of potential issues in implementing such proposals.