You are here

If I am moving to another state, do I need to re-apply for disability benefits?

No, you will not have to re-apply for Social Security disability benefits when you move to another state. Social Security disability programs are overseen by the federal government, and therefore your approval will carry over from one state to the next.

It is, however, important to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your address change, or any other significant change in living arrangements. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • If you receive your Social Security disability benefit checks through the mail, you will want the SSA to be aware of your new address before you actually move, in order to avoid delays in receiving your checks or your checks being delivered to your old address.
  • If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it’s important that the SSA is aware of your move to another state because it could affect any state supplements you receive to your SSI benefits. It could also potentially affect the way those benefits are administered. Some states administer their own supplements to SSI, while the SSA administers supplements on behalf of other states.
  • Simply to keep the SSA records up to date and current.
  • When the SSA sends you information regarding your ongoing benefits and any requirements you may have to fulfill to maintain eligibility, you will want to receive it at your current address.

Your actual Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI federal payments will not be affected by a move to another state. These are both federal programs. Before you move to another state, however, you should be aware of how it will affect any state supplemental payments you are receiving. Depending on where you are moving from, and where you are moving to, your total SSI benefits could go up or down.

  • States which do not pay ANY SSI state supplements include: West Virginia, Tennessee, North Dakota, Mississippi, Arizona and Arkansas.
  • States which administer their own state supplements (rather than having the SSA include them as part of your SSI payment) include: Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington.
  • States which have the SSA administer their state supplemental payments include: California, Hawaii, Montana, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Iowa, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, New Jersey, Utah, Michigan, New York, and Vermont.

You should also be aware that some states’ requirements for state supplements to SSI vary. While most people who qualify for SSI will also qualify for any supplements available in their state of residence, you may have to reapply for supplemental benefits.

In short, if you are moving from a state for which the SSA administers supplemental benefits to another state for which the SSA administers supplemental benefits, your SSI should be unaffected (although the amount may change). If you are moving to a state that administers its own supplemental benefits, you will need to apply for supplemental benefits in the new state (and may have to wait for an approval period before you start receiving them). If you are moving to a state which does not offer supplemental benefits, you will not receive any supplement.

It’s important to be aware of these changes and how they could affect your income. It’s also important to inform the SSA if you are moving in with anyone who might contribute to your financial upkeep. This could affect your eligibility for SSI and/or the amount of SSI you are eligible for. Your SSDI will not be affected, as it isn’t based on financial need.

When moving to another state, it is important to inform the SSA. Your move will not affect your eligibility for disability benefits, unless your move changes your financial situation significantly enough to affect your SSI eligibility.

If you are moving to another county you also might be eligible to receive your SSDI benefits abroad.