No matter where in the United States you live, your Social Security retirement, disability, family or survivor benefits do not change. Along with the 50 states, that includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands.
But not all states treat benefits the same way. Twelve states levy a tax on Social Security benefits: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah and West Virginia.
The tax rates and exemptions vary by state, and a few of these states are phasing out taxation of benefits for most or all residents. Contact your state tax agency for details.
In any case, you should notify Social Security of your change of address. Go to the “My Profile” tab on your online My Social Security account or call 800-772-1213.
Moving could affect your payments if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a benefit for low-income people who are older, blind or disabled that is administered but not funded by the Social Security Administration. Most states supplement SSI payments from their own coffers, but those supplements differ from state to state.
In addition, SSI is not available in Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this territorial exclusion in an April 2022 decision in a case brought by an SSI recipient who lost his benefits after moving from New York to Puerto Rico.
Keep in mind
- Moving to another part of the country can affect your Medicare Part C and Part D coverage, as your current plan provider might not operate in your new home state. (Parts A and B, sometimes called “traditional” or “original” Medicare, offer the same coverage nationwide.) Ask your Part C or D provider if your current coverage is transferable, and be sure to review Medicare’s guidelines on special enrollment periods before switching plans.
- Moving abroad might affect your Social Security benefit depending on your citizenship, country of residence and the type of benefit you receive. Consult the Social Security publication “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States“ for information.