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).

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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