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Can I draw unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time?

Yes, but… a few things to remember. If you apply for unemployment benefits you must certify in writing that you are ready, willing, and able to work. So, if you are able to work, you are not eligible for workers' compensation disability benefits. Well, not quite.

If you certify you are ready, willing, and able to perform only light duty or restricted work duties due to your on the job injury, you can draw a combination of benefits.

The workers' compensation insurance company can deduct your unemployment weekly checks from your weekly workers' compensation disability benefits. After the deduction you might be back to square one.

I find that one's legal ability to draw unemployment benefits is quite helpful when the workers' compensation insurance company denies or suspends your workers' compensation benefits. This way you are not left with NO income at all while you fight with the insurance company over your entitlement to further disability benefits.

Remember, the goal of the insurance folks is to settle your claim for as little as possible and if you are totally out of money, they are in a great position to offer you pennies on the dollar to settle. But with unemployment benefits you at least can put food on the table for your family for a limited period of time.

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