Social security is a primary source of income for retired individuals and unemployment can be a primary source of income for someone who has recently lost their job. While it does not occur frequently, people could qualify for both benefits as long as they meet certain qualifying criteria.
To collect both social security and unemployment at the same time, you will have to be old enough to collect social security. While there are no real age requirements for unemployment, to collect social security you will have to be at least 62 years old. If you want to collect the full reimbursement, you will have to be at least 67 years old. Otherwise you will receive only a partial benefit for the rest of your life.
To collect social security and unemployment at the same time you will also have to have recently become unemployed for a qualified reason. Unemployment benefits are available for people who have been laid off from either a full-time or part-time job. It generally does not provide benefits to people who quit or retire from their job voluntarily or were fired for cause. Unemployment benefits have been extended in recent years and now can last for as long as 99 consecutive weeks.
To qualify for either social security or unemployment, you will have to have paid into the system during your career. People who were paid largely in cash, and did not report their earnings on their tax forms, will likely not have paid into either of the systems during their career. Because of this, they will not qualify for either benefit.