First, SSA OFTEN cashes checks when received, so perhaps you, my friend, have been ill-advised. What happens, actually, is they take the SSA does often take the check, which IS the money and ask questions later, more often than not. Second, you are forgetting that when you SEND the check, you are sending your letter requesting a CANCELLATION of your benefits. What this does, is create PROOF, regardless of whether the SSA cashes the check or not. Remember, I am a lawyer, my everyday job is to ensure best proofs for later issues, so my clients prevail. It is all about proofs. Lastly, what you are further misunderstanding is that when you SEND your letter and check, you are creating an evidentiary paper trail that generally suffices to PROVE what you requested so that the SSA will later hold that date as a protective filing of that request. Your clerk you spoke with at SSA, is unaware of what the creation of evidentiary proofs which is normal, since she is neither an SSA expert or lawyer, but a clerk collecting paperwork and moving it on and upward. (Creating evidentiary proofs: similar to what certified mailing provides for, which so many people FAIL to do because they erroneously thing, why send certified? I KNOW I sent it... Uh, the reason is because it does NOT matter what YOU know, it is what you can PROVE later when your reequest back fires in your fact. But I see you "know" what you "know, so will leave you with that. And for your edification, I charged you NOTHING and have certainly not been paid for churning time with you here, away from helping others. Good luck and Merry Christmas, I do wish you the best.