PLEASE NOTE: Our office is still open, serving our clients, and taking new clients, too! Attorneys and staff are working remotely and/or safely apart within our office(s) while recognizing the recommended guidelines for social distancing. Your health and safety, and that of our staff, is important to our firm. In response to the threats of COVID-19, we are currently offering clients and potential clients the ability to communicate with our attorneys and staff by telephone or email. As soon as it is deemed safe to meet in person, we will be happy to schedule in-office appointments. In the meantime, please contact our office by telephone or email to discuss your legal needs. We continue to fight for your disability benefits during this difficult and unprecedented time. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

How moving could affect Social Security benefits

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Firm News
  4.  » How moving could affect Social Security benefits

California residents who become disabled may choose to file for Social Security benefits. Some of these disability recipients wonder what would happen to their benefits if they move to another state with a lower cost of living. Because Social Security disability payments are governed by federal law, moving to another state won’t affect the amount of benefits received. However, some states offer supplements to disability payments that may be affected when a recipient moves.

The amount of Social Security disability payments received are not based on state or local living expenses. Instead, the amount is based on earnings prior to the onset of the disability. Over time, the monthly amounts received may increase due to cost of living increases determined by the federal government.

If a disability recipient notices his or her monthly payments have decreased, there may have been an overpayment or a garnishment. A common reason for overpayment is work activity. Social Security payments can be garnished to pay back taxes, child support, alimony, student loans and other federal debt. However, they cannot be garnished to pay back other types of credit obligations such as mortgages, credit card bills or medical bills.

Social Security disability applicants may benefit from consulting an attorney. To qualify for payments, a claimant’s disability must meet requirements determined by federal law. The Social Security Administration reviews claims based on the nature and expected duration of the disability as well as the claimant’s prior work history and education level.

An attorney could argue that a claimant’s disability will prevent the claimant from working in any type of field. In many cases, symptoms such as pain or exhaustion would cause a claimant to miss too many days of work to remain employed.