Greetings from Tokyo. I’m turning 70 on Aug 24, 2017, and recently began filling in the online application, per telephone guidance from the SSA service center. However, I seem to have begun the process too early (on Feb 6), as my partially completed, unsubmitted/unsigned online application is defaulting to start my benefits in June 2017, well before my 70th birthday, and with no way to choose an August or September start. This is not what I want as I had purposely delayed receiving benefits until age 70. Anyway, I tried to delete or cancel my unsubmitted application but was unable to find a way to do so. I exited the online process without saving the application, hoping that this would cancel the process, but it still remains in my account. I called the SSA Hqs service center but they didn’t seem to understand the problem, telling me if I simply don’t submit the application it will delete itself after a few months, but were unsure when and unable to give me more information. How do I cancel the current unsubmitted/unsigned application so I can submit a new application three months in advance, per SSA guidance, and hopefully receive benefits beginning the month after my August birthday? Thank you for your any advice you can provide. Kind regards,
I don't think you can delete the online application that you started, but that shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't submit the application. You can apply for benefits up to four months prior to the month you want to start your benefits, so you should be able to finish the application process as early as April of this year. At that time, you should be able to select August of 2017 as your month of election to start your benefits either by editing the application that you previously started, or by starting a new application if your first one gets deleted.
By the way, you will want to select August 2017 as your month of entitlement, not September. Social Security considers you to be age 70 for the entire month of August for benefit purposes, so choosing September would simply cause you to lose a full month of benefits.