TN 25 (08-23)

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

A. Policy requirements for a Withdrawal (WD) request

A claimant may have a number of reasons for requesting a Withdrawal (WD) of an application. A number holder’s (NH) request for a WD affects all beneficiaries on the record except for independently entitled divorced spouse (IEDS) beneficiaries. Before we can approve the WD request, the request must meet all of the following requirements:

  • The NH receiving Retirement Insurance Benefits (RIB) must submit the withdrawal request within 12 months of the first month of entitlement;

  • The beneficiary who requests a WD of their benefit application 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 (VTW) for closed tax years.


    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;

  • The NH receiving RIB is limited to one approved RIB withdrawal in their lifetime. A withdrawal request before adjudication is not counted as the claimant's one allowed request, as there was not a date of entitlement and the claimant did not receive payment;

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


    A faxed request for withdrawal does not meet the signature requirement to withdraw a valid application, see GN 00204.001B;

  • The request for WD must be filed during the claimant's life, except as shown in GN 00206.005B in this section;

  • If deemed filing rules apply at any time during the life of the benefit application being withdrawn, the claimant must withdraw both applications. For more information on deemed filing, see GN 00204.035; and

  • All beneficiaries on the record whose entitlement is nullified by the NH's WD must provide consent in writing before we can approve the NH's request for WD. For information on obtaining consent, see GN 00206.014.


    Do not obtain consent from IEDS beneficiaries, as their entitlement is independent of the NH and not nullified by the NH's withdrawal.

B. WD of benefit application when NH is deceased

If the NH dies before the date we certify their reduced RIB 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 RIB application after the NH’s death.

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

All of the following conditions must be met in order to approve a request to WD a benefit application submitted after the NH's death:

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

  • The surviving spouse (or their proper applicant) must file a withdrawal request;

  • Any other person whose entitlement would be rendered erroneous because of the WD consents in writing to it; and

  • Either the bank or surviving spouse returned the first payment in full, 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

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GN 00206.005 - Requirements for Withdrawal (WD) of a Benefit Application - 08/07/2023
Batch run: 08/07/2023