You’ve probably heard that the state of Illinois is not in great shape economically.
In fact, nearly 40,000 people moved out of the state last year.
So since almost all of the disability cases I handle are in Illinois, it’s not surprising that the question I’m asked most often after hearings lately is, “What happens now if I move?”
The short answer is: probably not much.
Both Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are programs administered by the federal government.
Moving to another state will not impact your ability to receive benefits, or the amounts that you will receive.
However, if you’re waiting for a decision from an administrative law judge, it’s important to make both Social Security and your attorney aware of any changes in your address to ensure you receive the decision at the proper residence.
One benefit that can be affected by moving to another state, however, is Medicaid, the federal health care program that most SSI recipients rely on.
While Illinois requires that you apply with its state agency to receive Medicaid, SSI recipients within the state nearly always qualify for the program.
If you move to another state while receiving SSI or while you are about to receive SSI, the good news is that in most states you will then automatically be enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program.
Seven other states, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah have the same eligibility requirements for Medicaid as SSI, but still require separate applications.
Besides Illinois, the states of Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Virginia have their own requirements for Medicaid eligibility.
In some cases, these income requirements are less than what SSI pays (currently $735/month), but applicants can, and often do, still qualify if they have high medical bills.