Fill Out The Attached Form . . .

Adults with Down Syndrome, Advocate, Aging, Down Syndrome, Family Challenges, Mother of an Adult with a Disability, People with Disabilities Add comments

Rather than writing my intended blog, I have spent the weekend trying to follow directions. I have been fortunate to keep my son Billy as a dependent on my health plan even after my retirement. A couple of weeks ago I received papers from the insurance company  to submit to maintain this coverage. Since the due date was stated as October 15 I set the material aside. Friday (September 4) I received another set stating FINAL NOTICE (never a good sign). But now I understand why so much time has been allowed.

An important part of the documentation required is the completed Incapacitated Minor form signed by our physician. Since I did not have that form I searched until I found a link where it could be downloaded. The URL was clearly printed with the usual assemblage of characters followed by a space and CoverRequestedChild.pdf, with the entire URL underlined. I tried to access the form, alternately typing it with the space, without the space, with the underline, and without the underline. I checked and double checked, always looking for my customary typing errors, always going to a non-existing site notification. At last I called the help number listed. This is where the fun began.

I was delighted to receive a courteous, encouraging female voice, eager to answer any questions I might have.

“I am unable to access the CoverRequestChild.pdf.”

“Did you enter the URL listed?”

“Yes I did.”

“And what did you see?”

“The indication that there was no such page.”

“I don’t understand.”

At this point, I asked if I should insert the space or the underline and she informed me that she would need to ask her supervisor and would I please hold. I held. Some time later she returned to the phone, stating “The space should be an underscore and there is no underline. You know, a lot of people have asked about that.”

While I had this friendly person I decided to ask a couple of other questions.  I told her that I have a letter from the insurance company stating “William will be continued as a dependent on your Family Type certificate until he marries or ceases to be incapacitated (capable of earning a living).” I wondered if that would serve the purpose.

“Please hold while I ask my supervisor.” I held. “No, that is no longer acceptable.”

Another question: “I have a letter from our physician dated 2007 stating in part “William has Down syndrome, a condition present at birth. This is a lifelong condition which will render him unable to support himself.”

“Please hold while I ask my supervisor.” I held. “No, that is not recent enough.”

Actually I do have another question: Is it possible that someone thought Billy would no longer have Down syndrome after three years?

Now I will get the physician’s affidavit, fill out the forms, and try to get all of it in by October 15. I’m glad I have that much time to complete the process.

Does anyone else have this much trouble filling out forms?

8 Responses to “Fill Out The Attached Form . . .”

  1. Roz Says:

    the joys of bureaucratic red tape, and the insurance racket!

  2. Pollye Says:

    If you think filling out a bureaucracy’s forms is frustrating, try working for one!

  3. Jackie Says:

    I have the same forms somewhere in the piles on my desk. My job is to prove that Fred is still my spouse, and true to form, I’ll wait until the last possible minute. I detest forms, and I’m sure I’ll encounter lots of problems when I sit down, under duress, to complete the task. I am counting on you to find places in your standard forms to slide in some of your brilliant wit.

  4. Jane B. Schulz Says:

    Roz and Pollye, thanks for your understanding. And Pollye, I did work for the government one time – ’nuff said.

    Jackie, I will try but have to be careful, they may not recognize it as wit.

  5. Elaine Ross Says:

    Dear Jane, I am sure that over the years you have filled out numerous forms and talked to all kinds of people in order to get Billy the services that he needed and was entitled to. Why do they make it so hard for someone to access services that they tell you that you are the beneficiary of ? What do you suppose it is like for someone who does not have the education , mental abilities , or perseverance that you do ? I can imagine they just give up. It is a shameful thing that you have to go through all of this. I apologize for the bureaucratic system that treats you this way. Not that my apology does one bit of good. Billy is blessed to have you as a mother and advocate who never gives up. Love you, Elaine

  6. Jane B. Schulz Says:

    Elaine, I also wonder about the people who don’t know how to do all of this. I have a friend who said she filed a number of times before she was able to get Social Security Disability for her daughter who has a disability. She said it was so repetitious that she almost gave up and she thinks that many people do.

    On the other hand, there is always abuse of programs designed to help and I’m sure that is something that has to be considered.

    Anyway, thank you for your concern. I love you too. Jane

  7. Darby Says:

    Form trouble, oh yea I have had my share of that kind of fun. Recently I was told I would be sent a form to fill out….uh oh. Finally, having gained some wisdom with age, I asked for a number to call so I could get help in filling out the form if needed. I did indeed need to call the number i was given because I apparently haven’t gained enough wisdom to fill out forms. Mission accomplished, issues resolved…..I think.

  8. Jane B. Schulz Says:

    Darby, the number you called was better than the number I called!

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