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Social Security Benefits

Can I change my mind if I start taking Social Security benefits and then decide that I want to stop and start taking them at a later age?

Throughout life, things happen that make it necessary to change the way we take care of our businss. Taking Social Security entitlement benefits is no different. At the time, you may have a good reason to start taking your Social Security payments when you turn 62, but something may happen to cause you to reassess your decision and you may want to take your benefits at a later age.

Most people don't know that they can request a stoppage of Social Security retirement benefits and put in a request to start taking them at age 65 or 70. You can actually withdraw your claim and re-apply for your benefits to re-start at a future date.

To withdraw your application, you must:

(1) Submit your application to withdraw within 12 months after making your initial application.

(2) Repay all the benefits you and your family have recieved up til that point.

(3) Submit in writing a letter of consent from anyone receiving benefits based on your application.

You may choose to withdraw your Medicare coverage if you are already entitled to it although you don't have to. Remember, you will not automatically be enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65 so you should contact the Social Security Administration at least 3 months before you turn 65. If you don't, you may have to pay a higher premium.

To withdraw your application, you must fill out a Social Security Form SSA-521. You must give a reason why you want to withdraw the application. If you are already covered by Medicare, you must state whether or not your Medicare should be included in the withdrawal.

Remember, if you are entitled to Veterans or Railroad benefits, you should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Railroad Retirement Board about how your withdrawal will affect those benefits because the VA and the Railroad Retirement Board are responsible for administering their own programs.

You must send the completed withdrawal form to the Social Security Administration or take them to your local Social Security Administration office. When your withdrawal request has been approved or disapproved, you will be notified by mail along with the amount of benefits you will need to repay. 

You have 60 days to cancel an approved withdrawal. After that, you will lose any possible entitlement for the period covered by your original application.

Note:  It is important that your contact your local Social Security Administration Office for all the latest updates on benefits and filing requirements.


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