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Q: I have multiple sclerosis. I have been receiving SSDI benefits in Hershey for almost a year. I will be moving to Michigan soon. Will my benefits transfer, or will I have to reapply in my new location?

A:

Michigan is supposed to be a lovely state. We hope you enjoy living there.

The good news is that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program sponsored by the federal government, so it has uniform rules across the nation. Your existing benefits will continue in your new location.

Note, though, that the same is not necessarily true for people who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The federal government provides a basic level of benefits, but that floor level is quite low. Some states choose to give additional money to some or all SSI recipients, in order to ensure they are not living in desperately poor conditions. When you move from one state to another, you may need to reapply for any additional income supplement your new state offers to its residents.

There are two important issues to consider when you move to another state while receiving SSDI benefits:

  • Make sure the Social Security Administration knows how to get in touch with you. You are already receiving benefits, so you will want to contact the Social Security office nearest your new home soon after moving to update your address, telephone contact information, and any change to your e-mail address. That office will need to be able to mail you information about the periodic review process for your claim. If you had applied for SSDI but had not yet been approved, or if you were awaiting notification about an appeal or a scheduled hearing, it is even more important to get in touch with your new Social Security office as soon as possible.
  • Take action to make sure your payments aren’t interrupted. In early 2013, Social Security switched over to eliminate almost all paper checks for benefits. Recipients now get monthly payments deposited directly into bank accounts or loaded onto a debit card. If you will be changing financial institutions or account numbers as part of your move, you should get in touch with your nearby Social Security office before the move to make sure your monthly payment is not sent to an inactive bank account.

If you are experiencing difficulties in obtaining the disability benefits you deserve, our Social Security lawyers are ready to take up your cause. Call 1.888.476.0807 toll-free to speak to one of our Schmidt Kramer Pennsylvania disability attorneys. We are happy to answer your questions or to sign you up to receive FREE copies of our law firm newsletter.

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