If you decide to move to another state after you have begun receiving disability benefits through Social Security Administration, whether those benefits are affected depends on which kinds of benefits you receive.
If you are a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiary, moving to another state will not affect your benefits. When you first qualified for benefits, your payments were based off your lifetime of work earnings, and the state in which you worked has no bearing on this amount; therefore, you can move throughout the United States, and your monthly payments and other benefits will remain the same.
The story may be different if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI benefits are awarded to blind, disabled, and older individuals with extremely low incomes and few, if any, assets. Although the program is administered by SSA, Social Security taxes do not fund the program.
If you receive SSI payments, which state you live in may have a direct impact on the amount of money you receive each month. The federal government sets the minimum amount of money awarded to beneficiaries, and some, but not all, states supplement SSI with additional funds. As a result, if you live in one of the states that opts not to supplement the federal SSI amount, you could receive substantially less money each month.
In 2021, the maximum amount you can receive in federal SSI benefits is $794 per month for an individual and $1,191 per month for a couple. The only states that currently do not provide an SSI supplement are Arizona, Mississippi, North Dakota, and West Virginia.
As far as the federal portion of SSI benefits is concerned, you will not have to reapply for those benefits if you move to another state. In eleven states and the District of Columbia, an application for SSI benefits includes the state supplement: California; Delaware, Hawaii; Iowa; Michigan; Montana; Nevada; New Jersey; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; and Vermont. In all remaining states, you will need to apply to the state separately for the SSI supplement.
If you move, you must notify SSA and provide them with your new address within ten days after the end of the month when you moved. Failure to do so can result in a penalty of $25 to $100 as deducted from your benefits, and a new penalty will be levied every time you fail to report relevant changes to SSA.
In the event that you are considering a move but aren’t sure how it might affect your benefits, contact an SSA representative who can discuss the possible impacts to your payments.