SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1515. Right to Withdraw Application

1515.1 Can you withdraw your application?

Yes. You may withdraw your application if:

  1. You (or a person acting on your behalf) files a written request for withdrawal before we make a decision on your application; and

  2. You are alive at the time the request is filed.

If we approve your request to withdraw an application, the application will be considered as if it was never filed. If we deny your request for withdrawal, the application is treated as if the request for withdrawal was never filed.

Note: There is no right to reconsideration or appeal based on a withdrawn claim. You must file a new application if you later wish to claim benefits.

1515.2 Can you withdraw your application after SSA makes a decision on your claim?

You may withdraw your application after we make a decision on your claim if the conditions in the above section are met and if:

  1. All individuals whose entitlement would be voided by the withdrawal agree, in writing, to the withdrawal; and

  2. The person who requested withdrawal repays any benefits received based upon entitlement on the claim that is voided by the withdrawal.

Even if you withdraw a claim, we keep your application form and all related papers.

1515.3 Can an application be withdrawn after a claimant dies?

After the claimant's death, an application may be withdrawn, regardless of whether we have made a decision on it if:

  1. The application was for retirement benefits that would be reduced because of the claimant's age;

  2. The claimant died before we certified his or her benefit entitlement to the Treasury Department for payment;

  3. A written request for withdrawal is filed by or for the person eligible for widow(er)'s benefits based on the claimant's earnings; and

  4. The conditions in (A) and (B) of the above section are met.

1515.4 What is the effective date of withdrawal?

Ordinarily, the filing date of the withdrawal is the day we receive the request and the filing date is used to determine if withdrawal is requested before or after a determination is made on the application. The withdrawal, however, does not become effective until SSA approves the withdrawal request.

1515.5 Can you cancel a request to withdraw an application?

You may cancel a request to withdraw an application if you file a written request at a proper place (see §1505), and the claimant is alive at the time you file the request for cancellation. For a cancellation request received after we approved the withdrawal, you must file the request no later than 60 days after the date of the notice of approval.

(To withdraw from medical insurance after a period of entitlement, see Chapter 24.)

Last Revised: Aug. 1, 2006