Which states have the best Social Security disability benefits?
While federal disability benefits are uniform nationwide, most states top up SSI payments with amounts ranging widely from across the nation.
Regardless of where you live the Social Security Administration will send beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income the same amount, all things being equal. Benefits for each are based on the recipient’s work history or need.
Depending on where you live, your state may provide a booster to Supplemental Security Income payments with the amount ranging from tens of dollars to hundreds more each month.
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Who is eligible for Supplemental Security Income?
People with who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older could be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The programs are also available to blind or disabled children. SSDI beneficiaries have a qualifying work history, either through their own employment or a family member be that a spouse or a parent. Whereas SSI recipients qualify due to limited income and resources, the monthly payments provide minimum basic financial assistance.
If you receive SSI, you may also be entitled to Social Security benefits although they are not the same. When you sign up for SSI, you are essentially signing up for both. The SSA will determine your eligibility and how much you are entitled to, based on your income, living arrangements, married status and other factors but not on your work history like Social Security benefits. Your SSDI benefits are set as if you reached full retirement age, when you reach full retirement age it becomes a retirement benefit.
How much are SSI and SSDI payments?
Depending on the annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) the maximum federal benefit changes yearly. In 2022 the federal SSI benefit rate is $841 for an individual and $1,261 for a couple.
The average SSDI benefit for a disabled worker is about $1,358.30 a month according to the Social Security Administration at the end of 2021. The majority of beneficiaries receive modest payments, 85 percent get less than $2,000 a month as of December 2021.
What states pay additional Supplemental Security Income?
Supplemental Security Income is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands. This goes for SSDI too, but residents of Puerto Rico while they can’t receive federal SSI they can receive federal SSDI.
All but four states, Arizona, Mississippi, North Dakota and West Virginia, and the Northern Mariana Islands offer additional funds to residents receiving SSI. The difference between states can range from around $10 a month to several hundred dollars on top of your federal SSI benefit which remains constant no matter where you live.
Depending on the state there may be eligibility requirements to receive the monthly booster such living in a nursing home or another type of residential care facility.
What happens to your SSDI or SSI if you move state?
When you move state, it isn’t necessary to reapply for federal SSDI or SSI benefits but you will need to inform the SSA of your move, or if you change residence within your state. Likewise, any other changes in your personal or financial situation that could affect SSDI, SSI or retirement benefits must be communicated to the SSA.
You have until 10 days after the end of the month to inform the SSA or face a fine of $25 to $100 for each offense. The penalty will be taken out of your monthly benefits payment. You can do so online through a My Social Security account or by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213.
Depending on the state you move to, you may have to inform that state’s department of human services office to access the booster to monthly SSI benefits.
States that SSA administers some or all of the state supplement
California, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont and the District of Columbia
States that administer all of the state supplement
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming