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Are unemployment benefits considered "earnings" to Social Security?

by Judie
(California)

I’ve been collecting unemployment in California since Jan 1, 09. I’ll reach full retirement age in October and am about to apply for Social Security. I realize that will not interfere with unemployment, since I’m still looking for a job.


Should unemployment payments be included in the amount I give to SS to project my total earnings for 2009? They consider unemployment “Unearned Income “, and state that amounts shown must be earnings “that are covered by Social Security”. If my claim is extended into next year will unemployment payments amount count towards what I’m allowed to make while on SS?


Hi Judie,

I didn't know the answer, but I did find this AARP Bulletin, which says unemployment benefits are not counted as wages with regard to SSI benefits.

But although California won't reduce your unemployment benefits because of social security .. not every state is the same.

Everyone should double check how their individual state treats different kinds of incoming money.

Click the current year, then Nonmonetary.




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Jul 14, 2009
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Unemployment does not count as earnings
by: Judie

Spoke to Social Security this morning and they confirmed that if you're trying to calculate your benefits under SS, any amounts collected from unemployment should NOT be included as earnings.


Thanks Judie! Appreciate the confirmation.

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