Thursday, May 23, 2013

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork (and a nice dose of disclosure)

Through my employer I am entitled to a critical illness benefit.  There is a handful of diseases that this benefit applies to and this is one of them.  I'm not sure how I feel about that to be honest.  I mean, this being on the list of diseases that suck so bad you deserve a payout just adds to the reality that this is not a small thing.

It is a descent lump sum payment.  It is meant to be there for me when I need to purchase assistive devices, have modifications made to my home, need a caregiver or can't work for a while.  Again, all scary thoughts for me.  I suppose I should feel fortunate to have this kind of insurance as I'm sure there are many who don't.

I have to apply for this now because you have a limited time from diagnosis to apply or you cannot receive the benefit, I believe it's 12 months.  This meant I had to tell my employer.  I had been hoping to put this off for quite a while longer.  If I wait though, I'm out of luck.  It seems silly to me that with a critical illness that isn't going anywhere they put such a short claim allowance period (I guess it gets them out of quite a few payouts). 

I contacted my HR department and they said that they could not initiate the claim without disclosure of the reason for it, I had been hoping I would be able to deal with the insurance company directly.  Follow this call with a very personal and terrifying conversation with my regional director (boss) and the process has begun.  Another very big life change.  I have worked hard to reach where I am and I had planned to continue to climb within the company.  I can't help but worry about how this has likely changed senior leaderships ideas of my future growth with them.

Anyhow, what's done is done.  So onto the paperwork!  HOLY PAPERWORK.  I received two separate sets of claim forms.  The first twelve pages long and the second eight.  I have to have my GP fill out four of these pages, the rest are special just for me.  The questions request incredible detail and specifics.  Now, please bare in mind, I can't remember who I just spoke to on the phone five minutes ago half the time, yet I'm supposed to know the 'exact' date of which my symptoms began.  How in God's name would someone with MS know the first day their symptoms began?  Ummm, could have been when the pleasant bouts of irregularity started 6 years ago, could have been when I felt so tired I was sure I had mono 4 years ago, could have been when I started tripping up escalators and missing steps which has been on and off for years.  I don't have the slightest clue on what exact date this started, so I've decided to go with when I started getting dizzy in 2011 and just copy my doctors work.  Honestly, the people who generate these forms must not know much about MS.

Then, they want copies of all relevant tests and results.  They want dates that you have visited the emergency room and what doctor treated you there.  They want your date of diagnosis.  They want to know what feels like a gazillion pages of everything, which would be just fine with me if I could only remember all the answers.

Oh well, like I mentioned earlier, I'm going to copy my doctor's homework as much as I can.  I have had them print out two years of my medical files and tests so I can sift through them for answers and I've left a request with the hospital for any documents they may have.  I do believe this is going to take a while.

Hopefully I get it done by my deadline next January, LOL.

Talk soon

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