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Will my disability benefits transfer between states?

Osterhout Berger Daley > Practice Areas  > Social Security Disability > Will my disability benefits transfer between states?

Many people end up moving from one state to another after receiving disability benefits through the SSA for a variety of reasons. It’s only reasonable to wonder whether or not you can get the same disability benefits once you cross state lines or if you need to apply for benefits again in your new state. In fact, it’s your responsibility to know how crossing state lines could affect your benefits and what you need to do when you change addresses. The Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits are through the Social Security Administration, a federal agency, so benefits transfer when you move to another state. Learn more about how SSI and SSDI benefits work and what you need to do if you decide to move to another state.

Do You Need to Reapply?

Because both SSDI and SSI benefits are federal programs, you won’t have to reapply for benefits under most circumstances. You should, however, be aware that you need to notify the SSA about your move and the address change. You should do this as soon as you plan on officially living in another area so that you don’t have to wait longer to receive your disability checks. It’s also easier for the SSA to communicate with you about changes and get information from you as necessary. Generally, you can inform the SSA about your address change online.


There are some differences between the way that SSDI and SSI payments work because they apply to different people in different situations. Social Security Disability Insurance is for people who are blind or have disabilities. Additionally, to receive these benefits, the person has to have worked a certain amount of time at jobs that took out money for FICA taxes. When you move to another state, you don’t have to worry about the amount that you receive changing because the amount stays the same even when you cross over state lines.


Supplemental Security Income is for people who are aged, disabled, or blind and have a limited amount of resources and income, but SSI benefits work slightly differently than SSDI benefits. In order to receive Supplemental Security Income, you also have to apply for Social Security benefits and other government benefits that you might be able to collect. There are also some states that provide extra income to recipients of the SSI benefits, and you should be aware of how the state that you’re currently living in and the one that you’re moving to work. All states except for Arizona, Mississippi, North Dakota, and West Virginia pay a state supplement in addition to the federal SSI payments that the SSA pays out.

You also need to be aware that there are some states that pay out a supplement that only pay to people who are living in a nursing home can collect. So if you’re moving, you should be aware of whether or not you’re going to continue to receive benefits from the state where you’re going. Additionally, even if you’re moving to a state that gives out supplements, you might receive a different amount than what you receive in the state that you’re in currently.

You should also understand the rules on cohabiting in the state that you’re moving to, which can alter how much you receive on Supplemental Security Income from the SSA and from the state. For instance, if you were living alone in an apartment in your first state but then moved to a different state and were living with someone else, your benefits might change because you’re now cohabiting. The reason behind this is that when you live alone, all of the electric bills, rent, other utilities, and food costs are your responsibility. Cohabiting with someone who will be paying a significant portion or the bills can cut down on your living costs considerably. For instance, if you live in a one-bedroom apartment that costs $500 per month in rent and move to a two-bedroom apartment that costs $700 per month, you’ll pay $150 less per month on rent if you split it evenly. Similarly, the cost of heating is no more expensive for two people than it is for one, but you can split that cost when you cohabit.

When you live with someone else, these costs are spread out among more people who are presumably bringing in an income, too. You need to contact the SSA in the state that you’re moving to in order to determine how your benefits will change based on your specific situation before you move to better plan your financial situation.

Reporting a Change of Address

If you’re receiving SSI or SSDI payments, you have to report your change of address within 10 days of the month that you move. If you fail to report this change, it’s possible that you won’t receive your full benefit amount. Otherwise, you might receive an overpayment and have to pay it back later. This discrepancy in payments can occur because the states might have different payment amounts for your situation. Otherwise, if your living situation has changed in another way, such as taking on a roommate, this can affect the amount of money that you receive for disability insurance.

The SSA can also penalize you for not reporting the change in time, and the state can penalize as well. These penalties will come out of your regular payments. You could also be penalized if you don’t report to the state agency out of which you’re moving because failing to report could result in you receiving payments that you’re no longer entitled to. The penalties that you receive from the state for not reporting payments are similar to the ones that the SSA gives out for not reporting a change in address and living arrangements.

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    Learn more about Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability Insurance, as well as appealing denials and how an attorney can help. These resources will cover the basics: