Social Security Disability Resource Center

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If I Move To A State Where There Is A Lower Cost Of Living, Would My SSD Benefits Decrease?

Moving will not affect your SSD amount

Social Security disability is a national disability program, therefore movement from state to state would have no effect upon the amount of your Social Security disability benefits. In other words, if you move to a state where there is a lower cost of living, your Social Security disability benefits will remain the same. Social Security disability benefits are simply not based upon the cost of living in states, cities, or localities.

The key to this question is whether or not your "overall monthly money will decrease if you move to another state. Some disability beneficiaries may have a decrease in their overall benefits due to a move to another state. What do we mean by this? If your state offers a supplement to your SSD benefits and you move to a state that offers no monthly supplement, you may feel like your disability benefits have decreased, though in actuality your overall amount will have gone down due to loss of the supplement.

Moving can affect your SSI amount?

If you are planning a move to another state and you are receiving a monthly state supplemental benefit, be sure to plan your budget without the state supplemental benefits. Social Security bases the amount of your monthly disability benefits on your earnings prior to becoming disabled and eligible for benefits. Your monthly SSD amount can only be increased by cost of living increases given by Social Security or by additional work activity (that has the effect of increasing your paid-in contributions and, thus, raises the amount you are eligible to receive.

The actual amount of your SSD benefits are never decreased, however you may receive a lower monthly disability benefit amount if you are repaying an overpayment (sometimes SSD beneficiaries have to repay disability benefits that they were not entitled to receive--most often due to work activity) or if your SSD benefits have been garnished for some reason.

Note: SSD benefits can only be garnished for child support both current and past, alimony, student loans, IRS liens, or any other unpaid loan from the Federal government. SSD benefits cannot be garnished for delinquent credit obligations (credit cards, car loans, home loans, etc).

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    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
    How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
    Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
    What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria