February 23, 2016
The disability attorneys at Disability Associates explain how moving out of state or out of the country will affect an individual’s Social Security disability benefits.
Whether the decision to move stemmed from a change in your spouse’s employment situation or a communal feeling amongst family members that it was a good time to upgrade or downgrade living spaces, relocating could impact the amount of Social Security disability benefits you receive if you were awarded Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Before you call the moving company and begin to build your roots in a new location, consider how moving out of state or moving to a different country could affect your disability benefits check.
Moving to a Different State
If you and your family are moving to a different state and you receive Supplemental Security Income, the amount that previously appeared on your monthly benefit check may be adjusted as a result of the move.
SSI is a federal benefit, meaning that benefits are provided and administered to recipients by federal government agencies. However, most states add a state supplementary payment each month in addition to what is provided by the federal government. If your former state of residence paid a supplement, but your new state does not, or it pays a smaller supplement, you could receive SSI checks with a smaller benefit amount after the move. Furthermore, if you’re moving from a state with a supplement to one without, you may be required to earn less income in your new home state in order to remain eligible for benefits, based on the monthly income limit (the SSI income limit for 2016 is currently $733 per month).
Additionally, the amount of disability benefits you receive through SSI may also change depending on your new living situation upon your arrival to a new state. If you are moving in with relatives or friends who will be covering some of your basic living expenses such as housing and food, your SSI benefits may be significantly reduced or even cancelled.
Moving out of the Country
Conversely, if you receive SSI benefits while living in the United States, your payments will stop once you have been outside the United States for 30 days. If you return, your payments cannot be reinstated until you have been back in the United States for 30 days. The only individuals who qualify to receive SSI benefits while outside of the United States are children of military personnel who receive benefits, and have to leave the U.S. for their parent’s overseas duty.
If you are concerned that your disability benefits will be significantly affected by an upcoming or foreseen relocation, contact your disability attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options and make arrangements for the future.
For more information about moving while receiving Social Security disability benefits, or if you have questions about your individual Social Security disability circumstances, contact Disability Associates today.