Can I Apply for Unemployment After a Disability?

If you’ve suffered a debilitating injury in Arizona, you may be wondering whether you can apply for unemployment and disability. For many people, this is a crucial financial lifeline that allows people to continue with their lives. Even though they may be unable to work in the future, they can still receive the funds they need to pursue medical treatments and other necessities. Unfortunately, applying for unemployment isn’t always easy. In order to get approved, you need to approach this situation very carefully. The first question you should ask yourself is whether you are even eligible for unemployment in Arizona. 

This question becomes easier to answer with the help of a qualified, experienced unemployment attorney. A legal professional can guide you towards a positive outcome in the most efficient way possible. With their help, you can discover whether you’re able to apply for unemployment. Once that question has been answered, your lawyer can help move on to the next stage of the application in a confident manner. 

What is Unemployment?

“Unemployment” usually refers to Unemployment Insurance. This is also known simply as “UI.” Those who are approved for UI receive various benefits from the government, including financial assistance. Your financial assistance will be provided in the form of a weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefit Amount, also known simply as “WBA.” This amount is calculated based on the wages you previously earned in the state of Arizona. According to the Arizona government’s website, the current maximum WBA is $240. 

What is Disability?

“Disability” usually refers to something entirely different, namely SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income). This type of financial assistance is generally more substantial compared to UI. Ultimately, being approved for one may affect your chances of being approved for another. 

Are You Eligible for UI?

The basic requirements for UI are quite straightforward. If you want to receive UI, you must first be unemployed. You also need to have worked in Arizona during the past 12 months. In addition, you must have earned a certain amount of money in the past. In some cases, it may also be necessary to show that you are actively seeking employment while you are receiving benefits. The most crucial requirement is that you are unemployed “through no fault of your own.” The application process for UI is entirely online. 

Can I Apply for Unemployment After a Disability?

Because UI requires you to be actively searching for employment, it may be better for you to pursue SSDI or SSI instead. Courts may take your UI benefits as a sign that you are willing to work. In contrast to UI, SSDI is specifically intended for those who have been disabled. In order to be approved for either of these programs, you must be unable to do what Arizona considers “substantial gainful activity,” also known simply as SGA. Generally speaking, this means that you are unable to earn more than approximately $1,300 per month. 


The difference between SSDI and SSI comes down to eligibility. Although the medical eligibility for these programs is the same, SSDI is only available if you’ve worked a certain number of years. On the other hand, SSI is intended for those with low income and assets. 

Medical eligibility is very varied, as there are many medical conditions that could potentially prevent you from working. These include: mental disorders, immune system disorders, skin disorders, digestive system disorders, musculoskeletal system disorders and cardiovascular system disorders

Filing Appeals

Even if you are denied once, you can still appeal the decision. This is when a qualified attorney comes in handy. Although most appeals are denied once again, you can then request a hearing. Your attorney can help you gain approval during this hearing. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you’ve been searching the Arizona area for a qualified, experienced attorney who can help you with the unemployment application process, contact Pekas Smith, Arizona Disability Attorneys. Thanks to a wealth of experience in disability law, we can help you overcome any obstacles you might be facing. Learning whether you can apply for unemployment is the first step, but there are many other challenges you need to overcome before you can get approved. With our help, you can approach each of these challenges with efficiency and confidence. Reach out and book your consultation today

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