What if you Move out of State after you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI?

This question comes up every now and then. You can move after you've started an application for disability, usually with no negative effects. As with most situations involving changes in your contact information (or work activity), you'll want to notify social security as soon as possible.

If the case is at the disability application or reconsideration appeal level and is being evaluated by DDS (disability determination services) or whatever the equivalent is in that particular state, then it simply means contacting the social security office in your new state (and locality since you'll want to contact the office nearest to where you'll be living) and letting them know that you've moved.

If your case is at the hearing level and the hearing hasn't been scheduled yet, you'll want to do the same thing since it will mean that the jurisdiction for the case will have changed. Some individuals who move right before the hearing takes place will be told by the ALJ, or administrative law judge, after they've shown up at the hearing, that the case cannot be heard for that very reason: jurisdiction.

The result? It means that the case would have to be transferred to the hearing office that does have jurisdiction. This could mean a much longer wait for a hearing as a result, basically due to having to get out of one line and then into the back of a new line.

Of course, there are instances in which a person will move right before a hearing and then not inform social security or the hearing office because they want to avoid that situation of "losing their place in line".

With regard to that, you have to be very careful, because if you show up with medical records from a doctor in a different state, the ALJ is likely to catch on.

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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