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Can You Get Unemployment and Short-Term Disability? (How Does It Work + More)

Can You Get Unemployment and Short-Term Disability? (How Does It Work + More)

No. You cannot receive both unemployment insurance benefits and short-term disability insurance. You need to figure out the better one for you and choose according to your current condition. 

Unemployment benefits are different from short-term disability benefits. Unemployment insurance benefits are payments given to unemployed people by government-authorized bodies. Short-term disability insurance covers you for a short period following an injury or illness that keeps you from working. Thus, if you have an injury or illness that keeps you out of work, even if you are unemployed, apply for short-term disability insurance. Plus, you can transfer to short-term disability insurance from unemployment benefits if you learn about the short-term disability after applying for unemployment Insurance.

How Unemployment and Short-Term Disability Work

Both the unemployment and short-term disability programs aim to help former employees. But since you cannot certify for the two programs, choose the program that best applies to you. Here are how the two programs work differently.

The unemployment benefit works as payment for eligible workers that have lost their job. The eligibility requirement can vary from one state to another. In most states, the programs provide at least six months of benefits to the unemployed worker by replacing at least 30 percent of their previous wages. However, the cause of your unemployment should not be breaking company policies or misconduct unless the reason is extenuating circumstances. Plus, immediately after your job loss, you need to file for unemployment claim benefits to be in a position to receive the benefits. Also, you must remain available for employment opportunities to continue receiving the benefits.

Short-term disability insurance works as insurance for workers who can no longer work in their former jobs due to a medical condition. It applies if you cannot work for a specific time but expect to continue working in the future. Once you are eligible to receive the benefits, you receive a certain percentage of your salary until you can resume working. However, in most states, if a year is over as you receive short-term disability benefits, you have to apply for long-term disability.


Former workers who need financial assistance can benefit from the established programs by the federal government. The unemployment insurance and disability insurance programs are some of the programs the government offers that the states administer to former employees. Therefore, if you cannot work at your job due to an illness or disability, then short-term disability insurance is the best program for you. Also, unemployment benefit insurance is the right program for you if you can and are ready to work but cannot find a job.


What is the main difference between Unemployment benefit insurance and short-term disability insurance?

There are differences between the programs. However, the main one is unemployment benefits are temporary, while short-term disability insurance begins temporary but can extend to the long term and possibly be permanent.

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