Both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are federal programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you have been receiving SSI or SSDI benefits in one state, you will continue receiving benefits if you move to a different state. Depending on whether you are receiving payments through SSI or through SSDI, and which states you are moving to and from, your benefits may be adjusted, as explained below.
The SSDI program provides payments to disabled or blind people who have worked a certain length of time in qualifying jobs requiring the payment of FICA taxes. Your SSDI benefits amount will stay the same no matter which state you live in.
The SSI program provides payments to aged, blind, and disabled people who have limited income and resources. While SSI is provided through the federal government, some states pay certain people who receive SSI an additional amount that is called a “state supplement.” As of 2014, all states except for the following pay a state supplement for people receiving SSI:
- North Dakota, and
- West Virginia.
However, some states that are not on this list may pay a state supplement only to those living in nursing homes.
If you currently live in a state that provides a state supplement, you will no longer receive that state’s supplement if you move to a different state. You may receive a supplement from the state you move to if that state provides a supplement. Whether a state has a supplement, and the amount of the supplement, can also affect eligibility.
In addition, your benefit amount may be adjusted if your living situation changes. For example, if you were living alone and paying for food and shelter yourself in a certain state, but are moving to a different state and are going to be living with others who will be paying for your food and shelter, your SSI benefits may be reduced.
Before you move, you should contact the SSA to ask what your benefits would be in the state you are considering moving to.
Reporting Your Move
Regardless of whether you are receiving SSI or SSDI, you must report a change in address immediately to the SSA. And if you are receiving SSI, you must report a change in living arrangements within 10 days after the months the change occurs. If you do not report the change in time, you might not receive your full benefit amount, or on the contrary, you might receive too much (called an overpayment) and have to pay some back.
The SSA can also penalize you for not reporting a change in time and this penalty will be taken out of your monthly payments. If you are receiving state supplements in a state in which the SSA does not administer the state supplement, you must also notify the appropriate state agency of your move as well. Some states that have supplemental payments also have penalties similar to those of the SSA if you do not report certain changes right away to the state agency.