Q) I am starting unemployment in PA and, being over 55, expect it will take a while. I am also on a transplant list and expect to be called to get a new kidney soon. Since that will keep me from being physically able to work for at least a month, I was wondering if this qualifies as an exception to the “able to work” requirement? I am currently on dialysis and was working full time before being laid off.
A) The definition of disability for the exception to the penalty is a very narrow one. The individual must be unable to perform any substantially gainful employment and the disability must be of long-standing or indefinite duration, possibly ending in death. The definition does not say you must be receiving disability payments, and it does not say that you must not be able to perform your “normal” job. Basically, you can’t be able to work at all. https://www.irahelp.com/slottreport/disability-and-exception-10-early-distribution-penalty
You may also look at applying for short term disability while you wait for your kidney transplant – Eligibility Requirements. The worker must have worked a certain length of time before being eligible for benefits, 30 days to six months, depending on the state. Some states have a minimum earnings requirement.There is a one-week waiting period before benefits are payable. …The illness or injury must be non-work related.
You could also look at applying for Social Security Disability – To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. In general, we pay monthly cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.
Benefits usually continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis. There are also a number of special rules, called “work incentives,” that provide continued benefits and health care coverage to help you make the transition back to work.
If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same. https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/dqualify.html