COVID-19 response legislation greatly strengthened and expanded the dollar amount, duration, and coverage of unemployment assistance. These changes have prompted questions about the implications for workers receiving disability benefits. This brief discusses and clarifies the interactions between disability benefits and unemployment assistance. It is published jointly with Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, The Arc, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, The Century Foundation, and The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities. 

Key Takeaways

  • SSI and SSDI participants who lost part-time work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are generally eligible for UI or PUA benefits, with some state exceptions for SSDI.
  • Receipt of partial unemployment benefits could also affect SSI eligibility but likely would not impact SSDI eligibility.