Sam Johnson, the Chairman of the House Social Security Subcommittee, has introduced a bill that would prevent a person from receiving both unemployment insurance benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits at the same time. The President has included the same proposal in his budget for the next fiscal year. That sounds great to many people. However, there are a few problems.
- All but two states limit unemployment insurance to 26 weeks or less. There's a five month waiting period for Disability Insurance Benefits. You do the math.
- Many, perhaps most, states already reduce unemployment insurance due to the receipt of Disability Insurance Benefits, leading to the possibility of a double offset.
- A high percentage of Disability Insurance Benefits recipients also get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI benefits are already reduced due to the receipt of unemployment benefits, leading to the possibility of a double or even triple offset.
The potential savings from this proposal are trivial. My guess is that it will be difficult to draft a bill that doesn't cause double or even triple offsetting of benefits. Even if you can get a bill drafted, implementing it will probably cost more than it can save. Other than these problems, it's a great idea.