TN 13 (07-17)

GN 00206.005 Requirements for Withdrawal (WD) of a Benefit Application

A. Policy requirements for a WD request

Claimants may have a number of reasons for requesting a WD of an application. A WD request by an auxiliary (e.g. spouse, child) only affects that auxiliary. However, the number holder’s (NH) request for a WD may affect all beneficiaries on the record. Before we can approve the WD request, the request must meet the following requirements:

  • The claimant must submit a request to withdraw a benefit application in writing, preferably via form SSA-521 (Request for Withdrawal of Application). The withdrawal request must include the specific class of benefit(s) he or she wants to withdraw and include a clear explanation as to why he or she is requesting the WD. We will not treat an oral request as a request for WD.

  • The claimant must be alive at the time she or he files the WD request, except as shown in paragraph GN 00206.005B in this section.

  • The NH receiving Retirement Insurance Benefits (RIB) is limited to one approved withdrawal in his or her lifetime.

  • We do not consider a withdrawal request before adjudication as the claimant’s one allowed request, as there was not a date of entitlement and the claimant did not receive payment.

  • The NH receiving RIB must submit the withdrawal request within 12 months of his or her current date of entitlement (DOEC).

  • All auxiliaries on the record adversely affected by the NH’s WD must provide consent in writing before we can approve the request. We exclude independently entitled divorced spouse (IEDS) beneficiaries from this rule. For more information on IEDS, see RS 00202.100. For information on obtaining consent, see GN 00206.014.

  • The beneficiary who requests a WD of his or her claim must repay all benefits he or she received, before we approve the withdrawal request. This includes Medicare payments (i.e., Hospital Insurance (HI) expenses paid by CMS, and Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) premiums withheld by SSA) and voluntary tax withholding for closed tax years. For information on Medicare WD, see GN 00206.020. For information on Voluntary Tax Withholding (VTW), see GN 02410.015. For more information on calculating repayment, see GN 00206.014.

    NOTE: In situations where we can fully offset the repayment of benefits owed against another type of benefit (e.g. Railroad claims, conditional WDs), we will accept a written statement of offset payments to satisfy the requirement of repayment.

  • An auxiliary requesting to WD his or her application must meet the WD requirements above except for obtaining consent from other auxiliaries or the NH as their request does not adversely affects them.

B. WD of benefit application when NH is deceased

If the NH dies before the date we certify his or her reduced benefit payment to Treasury (whether or not we have effectuated the claim as of the date of the NH's death), the surviving spouse or their proper applicant may request to withdraw the deceased NH’s RIB application. There is no time limit for the surviving spouse to file a WD request for the deceased NH’s benefit after the NH’s death.

1. Requirements for requests for WD of a benefit application after NH’s death

The following conditions apply for approval of a request to WD a benefit application submitted after the NH's death:

  • The deceased NH's benefit was for reduced RIB;

  • The survivor spouse (or their proper applicant) must file a withdrawal request, and

  • Either the bank or surviving spouse returned the first payment, or we have not yet certified payment on the NH's claim to Treasury. For information regarding certification to Treasury, see GN 02401.001.

2. Determining the date of certification to Treasury

For claims processed via the Modernized Claims System (MCS), Earnings Computation (EC), which does not have output, the certification date is the transaction date on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR), Payment History Update System (PHUS) data, or other computer records that provide a certification date.

C. References