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Social Security Administration Disability- Do I tell the SSA if I move?

It is not unusual for either a Social Security Disability Insurance case or Supplemental Security Income case to be initiated in one state and then somewhere in the process the claimant has to move. A common question claimants ask is, “Do I need to move my disability case when I move?”

This may seem like a strange question given that Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits are federal benefits and are administered by the Social Security Administration. The decision making process and the award calculations are the same throughout the United States (with the exception of state supplemental payments for SSI). Given this fact, it is not unusual for some claimants to not contact the Social Security Administration when they move.

The general rule is if you are going to move and you have not initiated the disability process, wait to file your claim until you get settled. If you have to move and cannot wait to file, go ahead but contact the SSA as soon as you are in your new location. If your claim is being “processed” by the Social Security Administration and you have to move, make sure to contact them when you get your new address.

How does location affect the disability decision?

As mentioned above, the Social Security Administration has done a good job of establishing standardized procedures to ensure that all disability examiners use the same process to determine whether or not a claimant is disabled.

The Social Security Administration does, however, divide the United States into regions. Not only is your Social Security Administration and Supplemental Security Income application processed in a specific Social Security Administration regional office, if you are scheduled to have a hearing your application is sent to a specific Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) for the hearing.

According to the Social Security Administration they have “10 regional offices, 169 hearing offices (including 7 satellite offices), 5 national hearing centers, and one national case assistance center. There are approximately 1,300 administrative law judges and 7,000 support staff in the field organization.”

For example, Region I is called the "Boston" region, although it services Boston, Hartford, Lawrence, Manchester, and several more cities. Each of the corresponding cities has a local ODAR office which services the local SSA field offices. For example, the Boston ODAR office services the field offices in the following cities: Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Dorchester, Falmouth, Fitchburg, Farmington, Gardner, Hanover, Hyannis, Lynn, Malden, Norwood, Quincy Roslindale, Salem, Somerville, and Waltham.

It can become very clear that if your case is pending in the wrong court this can cause issues when your case is ready to be scheduled. You do not want a case to be scheduled in a court that is in a different state from your home state. Additionally, the wait to hear cases is very long and you do not want to do anything that can jeopardize your “place in line” for your Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income case.

Hiring a Disability Lawyer

Now if this is all confusing and you need help disability lawyers work on contingency fee basis and are ready to review your case at any time to find out if they can help you. The good news is they are only paid if they win your Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income case.

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