In the process of pursuing various disability claim issues and whatnot this week, I have been told some fairly amazing things by otherwise helpful and friendly customer service people at various providers of health and disability services. For example:
“Oh, don’t worry about those emails notifying you of claim documents. Sometimes our Web site just sends them out even if nothing’s there.”
“You’ll be receiving some more forms in the mail shortly. Ignore them.”
“Yes, the phone system will ask you for that information every time you call. It doesn’t apply to you.”
Mind you, in each case I had to ask very specific questions in order to elicit this information.
Here we have a benefits management process of Byzantine complexity, involving dozens of forms running to hundreds of pages, along with multiple overlapping deadlines and complex application procedures. A single missed deadline or omitted form can derail everything and disqualify me from various programs. Yet the intake processing and IT infrastructure of these services is so eccentric that it falls to me to understand which bits of information or sets of documents are critical and which are superfluous.
It’s not like I’m mortally ill or profoundly stressed or anything. Of course I have the time, focus and mental energy to sort through what the providers themselves can’t get right. Thank you for asking.