Will I Lose My Disability Benefits If I Move Out of State?

Several states provide their own disability benefits programs, such as Temporary Disability Insurance in New Jersey.  However, this article will focus on federal disability benefits provided by the Social Security Administration, known as SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance).  Since SSI and SSDI are federal programs, will moving to a different state affect the monthly payments you receive?  Do you have to reapply for benefits when you move?  How do you update your contact information with the SSA?  Our disability lawyers have the answers.

How to Update Your SSA Address and Phone Number

The way your benefits will be affected depends on the type of benefits you receive: SSI, or SSDI.  SSI is meant for blind, elderly, and low-income individuals, while SSDI is based on the number of “work credits” the claimant has earned through past employment.  Both programs provide benefits for people who cannot work because of a serious, long-term medical condition.

If you are an SSDI claimant, moving out of state should not affect the amount you receive each month, nor do you need to reapply for benefits.  However, it’s still important to update your information with the SSA – otherwise, you could experience preventable payment delays.

There are a few ways you can update your SSA contact information:

  • If you already have an SSA account, simply log in and navigate to the tab labeled “My Profile.” From there, you’ll be able to enter your new address and phone number, including your move date.
  • If you’d rather skip the online process and update your information via phone, you can call the SSA at (800) 772-1213, Monday through Friday, 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.  If you have difficulty hearing, call TTY (800) 325-0778.
  • If you’d prefer to update your information in person, you can go directly to your local SSA field office.  However, unless you live next door, it’s probably easiest to call or create an online account instead.

Note that the online service is available only to people who receive SSDI.  If you receive SSI, you must either call the SSA or visit a field office in person.  (Note you also cannot apply for SSI online.)

This brings us to our next point: how is SSI affected by moving out of state?

How Will Moving Affect My SSI Disability Benefits?

While SSDI is not affected by moving out-of-state, SSI can be impacted dramatically – for better or worse.

SSI payments are federally determined.  In fact, the maximum monthly payment an SSI recipient can receive is called the FBR, which stands for Federal Benefit Rate.  As of 2015, the FBR for individual SSI claimants is $733 per month, increasing to $1,100 per month for married couples.  (Our article about how marriage affects disability benefits explores the issue in greater depth.)

However, there’s still a potential issue.  Even though SSI payments are established at the federal level and are uniform from state to state, payments can still increase or decrease based on SSI supplement offered by the destination state.  You might find yourself in a state that offers a larger supplement, a smaller supplement, or in a few cases, no supplement at all.  The change you will experience depends on where you’re moving from, and where you’re moving to.

The following states do not offer any supplementary SSI programs:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

The following states offer supplements through the SSA:

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington D.C. (District of Columbia)

The following states offer supplements through the state:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Check with the SSA to make sure you don’t miss out on benefits to which you may be entitled.  You should also consult with an attorney to make sure you’re taking advantage of any disability benefits programs you might qualify for.

Pennsylvania Disability Lawyers Offering Free Consultations

If you need help filing for disability in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, or if your claim was denied and you want to appeal an SSA decision, our social security attorneys can help.  At Young, Marr & Associates, our knowledgeable legal team brings more than 20 years of experience to each claim we handle.  We offer free initial consultations, so call our law offices right away at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania.  Your information will be kept confidential.