Will I Get the Same Amount of Social Security Benefits if I'm Moving From Oklahoma to Hawaii?

Social Security is the basic retirement program for most Americans. Every person who works for an employer or earns self-employment income pays Social Security taxes. These earn credits in a Social Security account and any person with 40 credits, about 10 years of work, is entitled to retirement benefits. The amounts vary, depending on lifetime earnings and retirement age.

Basic Social Security

Social Security benefits normally start at age 65 or 66, but can begin as early as 62, although amounts for early retirement are reduced by about 25 percent. More than 56 million recipients got a 1.7 percent increase starting in January 2013 and the average recipient now receives $1,237 a month, about $14,800 annually. Moving from Oklahoma to Hawaii may change a recipient's cost of living, but won't affect basic Social Security benefits.

State Supplements

About 8 million people also receive Supplemental Security Income or SSI. This may change with a move because some states supplement the basic SSI payment with additional payments. Those vary by state and by income, living arrangements and other factors. Oklahoma administers its own SSI program, but in Hawaii, SSI is administered by the Social Security Administration.

Oklahoma and Hawaii Differences

SSI is for elderly or disabled persons with limited incomes. In Oklahoma, eligibility is determined by the state, based on an application submitted to Social Security. The process looks at the amount of earned income, ability to work to make additional money and physical impairments or impediments to work. In Hawaii, the Social Security Administration processes an application and determines eligibility.

Oklahoma SSI

Oklahoma's Department of Human Services follows basic federal guidelines in determining eligibility but disregards the value of Indian allotments and other Indian resources. In Oklahoma, a couple living independently can expect more than $80 a month in SSI payments or a total of more than $1,200 with federal amounts. Oklahoma does not provide any extra assistance for special needs.

Hawaii Payments

Couples living independently in Hawaii can expect combined federal and state SSI payments between $2,500 and $3,000 a month, about a fourth of the total from the state supplement. Hawaii also has different rates for those in assisted living facilities and in many cases offers special needs supplements for such things as help due to natural disasters, onetime housing or utility deposits or repair or replacement of stoves or refrigerators.

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About the Author

Bob Haring has been a news writer and editor for more than 50 years, mostly with the Associated Press and then as executive editor of the Tulsa, Okla. "World." Since retiring he has written freelance stories and a weekly computer security column. Haring holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri.

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