Will I lose My Disability Benefits if I move to a different state?

by Brad Myler

If you are currently receiving Social Security disability benefits, and are considering moving to a different state, you might have concerns or questions about your continued eligibility. You should know that moving to a new state could affect the benefits you receive, or even your eligibility. Determining whether you can expect a change in benefit amount or eligibility will depend on whether you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI), or receive payments under Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI application).

If you are presently receiving Social Security Disability Insurance payments, your benefits will not be affected. However, you should always make sure that you contact your local Social Security office with your updated contact information. It is important to keep your address information up-to-date, so that you can continue to receive crucial correspondence regarding your ongoing eligibility, as well as your payment checks, if you have not set up direct deposit. You should be able to update your information by calling your local Social Security office, or you can update online by visiting SSA.gov.

Those who receive payments under Supplemental Security Insurance might find that when they move to a new state, their benefit check is lower, or even that they are no longer eligible for the same benefits. Though SSI is a federal program, many states add on a small supplement to monthly federal SSI payments. If your state of origin added a supplement, but your destination state does not, or adds only a smaller payment, you might find that you receive a lower monthly benefit amount.

Additionally, Social Security determines eligibility for SSI by means of a complex formula that calculates income limits for recipients of benefits. For states with no supplementary amount added, the federal income rate maximum is $710 a month (countable income). However, if you live in a state that does add on a supplemental amount, your monthly maximum limit will be higher. This also means that moving to a state that does not add on a supplemental benefit at the state level could result in needing to have a lower monthly income than in your previous state, in order to continue to be eligible for SSI payments.

If you are planning to move to another state. and would like to know how your move will affect your Social Security disability payments, be sure to contact your local Social Security office, or visit SSA.gov. A benefits representative should be able to help you assess your circumstances, determine any income limits in your destination state, as well as provide an estimate of your new SSI payment. For more SSI help or information on SSI back pay, contact Myler Disability Advocates.

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