Can I get unemployment if I’m already getting Social Security?


Q. If you’re getting Social Security but still working a full-time job and you get laid off because of the coronavirus, can you collect unemployment?
— Worried

A. There are many individuals who are receiving Social Security benefits but continue to work to supplement their income or to stay active.

The COVID-19 crisis resulted in a dramatic increase in unemployment applications, and this has caused many mature workers to question their eligibility to collect both benefits, said Jodi Cirignano, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.

She said you can collect both Social Security and unemployment benefits.

Unemployment benefits are administered by your state and are based on your recent earnings history and the state’s benefit rate, she said.

Social Security benefits are administered by the federal government and are based on your earnings record over your 35 highest paid working years.

“In the past, some states reduced the monthly unemployment benefit of those receiving Social Security benefits, but those `offset’ laws have been repealed in every state,” Cirignano said.

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This story was originally published on July 3, 2020. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.