Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI is a federal program. But with Social Security (SSA) offices in every state, you may wonder if SSDI varies at all from state to state. Tabak Law is here to tell you that it does, but it may not vary in the ways that you think and there are some things you should consider when applying or moving.
Will Your SSDI Amount Change Depending on State?
SSDI amounts are based on your previous employment history and that will not vary from state to state. No matter which state you apply in or if you move, your benefit amount will be the same. It also doesn’t change based on your disability either. However, there are some differences you will need to be aware of.
Read More: Which Pays More SSDI or SSI?
Do You Have to Reapply For SSDI Benefits if You Move?
Since SSDI is a federal program, you do not have to go back through the application process just because you are moving to a new state. One thing to keep in mind is that though SSDI rates do not change, cost of living does vary from state to state so be mindful when moving because what you could afford in one place you may not be able to afford in another.
Though you do not have to reapply, any time you move, regardless if you are changing state or just moving next door, you have to notify the Social Security Administration. This will ensure you still get any mailed checks, but it also ensures that any future communications from the SSA are received. Official communication only comes by mail, and some communication may be key to your continued access to benefits.
When you want to change your address with the SSA, you can do so at a local office or you can do so online.
Are Wait Times and Approvals Different From State to State?
Though SSDI is a federal program, as we mentioned above, the approval process is managed by your state. There are some guidelines that need to be followed per the federal government but states are still granted enough power to greatly affect approval rates and wait times.
When it comes to approval rates, you can see this reflected in the 2022 numbers. While Hawaii, North Carolina, and Oklahoma rounded out the top three with Hawaii at 78% and North Carolina and Oklahoma at 62% in terms of approval, Washington, Illinois, and Minnesota round out the bottom three all at 49% approval. These approval rates can even vary from office to office within a single state. As an example, Missouri has one office that approved as little as 38% though the state has an average of 47% overall.
Wait times can also vary state to state. Currently, the time to wait before getting a hearing across the country is 10 months. In Wisconsin, that wait time is a little better at 8 months. This time has grown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in some states, it has been further exacerbated by new federal system requirements.
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