How To Change My Address [Step-By-Step Process]

Have you moved to a new home? If so, you need to notify the SSA and other organizations of your change of address. 

This allows them to record up-to-date information and reach you by mail if necessary. If you fail to notify the SSA of your new address there may be financial and legal implications. Your payments could be interrupted and/or withheld.

This article will answer the following questions. Are there fees to change my address? What happens if I do not change my address? And how can I change my address?

Read on to learn more. 

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Am I Required To Update The SSA Of My New Address When I Move 

Yes, when you move to a new home whether it is in the same state or a different state you need to contact the SSA and let them know your address has changed. 

This is especially important if you are moving states. Each state has SSA benefits, but each state handles the benefits differently. Some states require you to pay taxes on SSA benefits/payments. 

Different states also have different qualifications for Medicare and Medicaid. The health insurance providers in each state may be different. If you move to a new state where your health insurance provider does not operate you could love your health insurance coverage. 

Your Supplementary Security Income (SSI) payments could also be interrupted if you move to a new state as each state handles these benefits differently. 

Bottom line, report your new address to the SSA whenever you move. That way you don’t need to worry if your Medicare is no longer valid or your SSI will be interrupted. 

What If I Move Abroad

If you move to a foreign country you should still report your new address. This move could affect your Medicare or other benefits. 

If you are a U.S. citizen and qualify to receive payments you should continue to receive them even if you live abroad. 

If you are not a U.S. citizen but qualify for SSA payments you must meet one of the following requirements to receive payments while living abroad:

  1. You were eligible for your SSA payment for December 1956
  2. The worker your benefits are based on died while in the U.S. military or as a result of their service-connected disability. Cannot be a dishonorable discharge. 
  3. If you receive benefits based on your own work record and credits. 
  4. The worker who the benefit are based on had railroad work which the SA treated as covered employment. 
  5. You are active U.S. military or naval personnel. 
  6. You are a citizen of one of the following countries
    1. Austria 
    2. Belgium
    3.  Canada
    4.  Chill
    5.  Check
    6.  Finland
    7.  France
    8.   Germany
    9.  Greece
    10.   Hungary
    11.   Ireland
    12.  Israel
    13.  Italy
    14.  Japan
    15.  South Korea
    16.  Luxembourg
    17.  Netherlands
    18.  Norway
    19.  Poland
    20.  Portugal
    21.  Slovak Republic
    22.  Spain
    23.  Switzerland
    24.  United Kingdom
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There are some specific restrictions on SSA payments in certain foreign countries. For example, the SSA will not send you any payments if you move to Cuba or North Korea. Other countries such as Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan also have SSA payment restrictions. 

There are certain exceptions for individuals that meet the qualifications. To learn about qualifying for an exception contact the SSA. 

To read more of the qualifications and specific residency requirements to receive SSA payments click here. 

How Long Do I Have To Update The SSA Of My New Address

Once you move to a new address you have up to 40 days to change your address in some cases. 

You need to report your change of address by the 10th day of the month after you move. So, for example, if you move on August 1st you have until September 10th to report you have moved to a new address. Roughly 40 days. 

If you moved on August 31st, you have until September 10th to report your new address. So you have about 40 days or less depending on when you move. 

What Would Happen If I Do Not Notify The SSA Of My New Address

If you do not report your change of address in time or if you do not report your change of address at all you may lose your SSA payments. 

Consequences could include:

  • Reduced payments because you are not complying with the SSA. 
  • Overpayments which you must pay back later. (If you do not notify the SSA of an overpayment you can also face steep fines.)
  • Not receiving your benefits at all. 
  • Paying a $25 to $100 dollar fine each time you neglect to notify the SSA of your address change. 
  • If you intentionally make a false claim on your SSA benefits application and use an incorrect address you may be charged with Social Security Fraud. This can permanently affect your ability to get benefits. 

If you report your change of address after the deadline, you could try to explain to the SSA what happened. If you have a verifiable reason the SSA may choose to waive the fine. 

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You may need to provide a written statement of your reason for missing the deadline. If the SSA later proves the statement was false you may face serious charges. 

What If I Am Changing States

If you are changing states you still need to report your change of address. Once you move, locate the closest SSA office near you and notify them. 

Changing states can affect your benefits in a few different ways because each state has its own criteria or limits for those who qualify for SSI and Medicare. 

No matter what state you live in or move to your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits will continue. 

Confirm with the SSA office near you that you still qualify for your benefits. Make sure to check with Medicare to confirm you will continue to have coverage in your new location. 

If you can, get a record of the conversation with an SSA or Medicare agent confirming you will continue to receive your benefits and/or Medicare coverage. 

Do I Have To Pay A Fee To Change My Address

There is no fee to change or update your address with the SSA. If you miss the deadline, however, you will be charged $25 to $100 dollars. 

What Documents Do I Need To Provide The SSA To Change My Address

If you change your address online you shouldn’t have to submit any documents. You will need to log in with your account information. 

If you go to the SSA office to change your address bring your Social Security card and a valid license. You could also bring one proof of address document with you. Chances are you will not be asked for it, but it is best to bring it in case. 

If you change your address by phone you may need to confirm your SSN, name, and date of birth. Have that information ready when calling the SSA. 

How Do I Change My Address Online

You can visit the SSA’s website by clicking here. 

Once you are on their homepage, click “Sign in/Sign up” from there click “my Social Security”. That will take you to the “my Social Security” login page. 

If you do not have a my Social Security account you can create one. To create your my Social Security account you will need a valid email address, your SSN, and a mailing address. 

If you already have a my Social Security account, go ahead and log in. Once you are logged into your Social Security account you can go to “My Profile”. 

From your profile page, you can view your personal information. You can change your address from this page. 

You select “Update Contact Information” then type in your new address. You select when you want the update to go through. Make sure the address you typed in is error-free and then select “Submit”.

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If you have moved abroad you can change your address online. This is the easiest method for someone living outside of the USA.  If you cannot change your address online you may need to phone the SSA. 

How Do I Change My Address By Phone

If you cannot access your my Social Security account online you can contact the SSA by phone. 

Call 1-800-772-1213 or TTY number, 1-800-325-0778. When speaking to an agent you can ask for the form to request your earning records to be mailed to you or you could ask if you have the option of completing the request over the phone. 

You can find a location close to you by searching your zip code in this locator. Once you locate the office closest to you, the contact information for that office will be displayed.

Make sure to call ahead of time and see if you need to book an appointment. You may not receive service if you show up to the Social Security office without an appointment. 

Avoid Phone Scammers 

Please be careful when taking ANY phone call about your Social Security benefits!!! Unfortunately, there are quite a few scams related to Social Security numbers. A Social Security officer will NEVER threaten you or say you will go to jail if you do not give them your personal information. 

If you receive a phone call where someone says “there is a charge against you, you will go to jail if you do not pay money or give us your information” that is a scam! Hang up!  

When calling the SSA make sure to use the phone number listed on their website. The phone numbers I list can be found directly on the SSA’s site. 

How Do I Change My Address In Person

You can also visit a local SSA office in person to notify them of your change of address. Make sure to bring identification and any other proof of address documents. 

You can find a location close to you by searching your zip code in this locator. 

Make sure to call ahead of time and book an appointment. You may not receive service if you show up to the Social Security office without an appointment. 

After you visit the office and update your address make sure to ask for a printout that shows you updated your address. This will help you protect yourself in case the SSA agent makes a mistake when recording your new address. You will be able to provide this printout as proof you followed through on reporting your change of address.