Supplemental Security Income is a federal program, so the interstate transfer of benefits is a fairly straightforward process. Although the state you live in isn't a determining factor for SSI eligibility, it can affect the amount you are awarded.
SSI Benefit Amounts
Monthly SSI benefit amounts are determined by a number of factors, including any supplemental benefits your state provides and who pays for your food and shelter.
With the exceptions of Arizona, Mississippi, West Virginia, and North Dakota, nearly all states provide supplemental payments to SSI beneficiaries. These additional amounts are added on to the federal benefits every month, increasing your total payment. Because each state sets its own supplement amounts, your payment may change drastically when you move.
Once you move you will lose any supplemental benefits you received from your previous state.
If you are moving to a new state to live with someone, your SSI benefits can be reduced by up to 30 percent below the federal benefit amount. That makes it imperative to start the transfer process as soon as possible to avoid any budget-wrecking surprises.
Changing Your Address
Since where you live is so important for determining your SSI amount, SSI beneficiaries cannot simply change their address online. You must contact the Social Security Administration by phone at or visit a local office to make the switch. The process is the same for both options.
First, a representative verifies your identity by requesting your name, date of birth, Social Security number and other identifying information. The rep then enters information about your new home and living arrangements. This includes:
- When you will be moving
- The address where you are moving
- Your new phone number
- Who, if anyone, will be living with you
- Whether anyone who will be living with you also receive SSI benefits
- Whether anyone who will be living with you will be providing for you financially
Once that's done, the representative can calculate the SSI payment in your new state and provide you with an estimated benefit amount, including any additional state-supplemented benefits.
Inform the SSA as soon as you know you are moving to reduce the risk of delayed and inaccurate payments.