Transferring Benefits Across States

Published 6:48 am Friday, October 14, 2022

Moving to a new state? Be sure to take the necessary steps to ensure you don’t miss out on your benefits. Many federal benefits will go with you when you move to a new state, so you will not have to reapply to keep getting your benefits. However, there are some programs that are managed through state governments, so they can’t be transferred from state to state. These programs include:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Medicaid
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

How can state administered benefits be transferred state to state?

You can’t transfer state administered benefits to a new state. However, with careful planning you can apply in your new home state without a lapse in benefits. Let’s go over the process for transferring the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Unemployment Insurance, and Medicaid as examples.

SNAP

To continue receiving SNAP in your new home state, you must first cancel your benefit in the state you are moving out of. You cannot receive SNAP in your new state unless your original case is closed. To close your case, call your local SNAP office and follow all directions to properly end your benefit. It is recommended that this step be completed a week or two before you move.

Be sure to manage your benefits with that week or two in mind. Make sure you budget wisely so you can afford food through your move. Any leftover benefits will continue to be available to you, even if you open a case in another state.

Once you’ve moved to your new state, you must re-apply for SNAP benefits using the application forms and procedures in that state. Each state’s application process may vary, so view your state’s SNAP eligibility and application information by browsing the Food and Nutrition category on Benefits.gov. You can also locate and contact your new local SNAP office to answer any questions.

Unemployment Insurance

Contact the Unemployment Office in your current state and let them know about your plan of moving to another state. Ask for any specific paperwork you may need to file with the present state of claims.

Once informed your current Unemployment Office about your move, then you can call your new local Unemployment Office. You should inform them about your move and that you will be claiming the compensation and would like to initiate a transfer.

Once the transfer is complete, the claims you make will be subject to the rules and conditions of the new state, so check those out before you move. Monetary benefits may or may not be of the same value you received earlier.

Medicaid

Like the other programs we have covered, you cannot be part of Medicaid in two states at one time. The good news is that you’re allowed to apply for Medicaid in your new state immediately after moving. Be sure to plan ahead and apply quick to help you avoid a lapse in benefits.

To begin the process, cancel your Medicaid coverage in your current state by reporting your move to them. It is best to take these steps a few weeks before the move, to avoid any lapse of benefits. Visit Healthcare.gov to view detailed instructions on how to cancel your plan and how to report a move. After you’ve reported the move in the Medicaid Marketplace, a service that helps people shop for and enroll in health insurance, you will be able to apply for coverage in your new state. Each state has its own eligibility requirements, so just because you’re eligible for coverage in one state doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed in another. Be sure to check out your new state’s requirements.

Visit the Healthcare and Medical Assistance category and filter by state and the subcategory, Medicaid and Medicare, to find your new state’s Medicaid program, where you can view eligibility criteria and application information.