You have been ill or injured. You have struggled to recover. As you recover there are many demands awaiting you. Now you are bombarded by paperwork. Paperwork that you need help filling out, passing it on to your healthcare providers. Then it gets put in the back of your chart as though it’s meaningless.
Meaningless to most other people who are well, but meaningful to you as your life and survival depend on completion of paperwork to gain access to benefits and financial support. When your health and life have spiraled out of control, when things are harder then ever before you are expected to do the unexpected.
It’s time to fill out mounds of paperwork, make telephone calls to all sorts of business, insurance companies, healthcare facilities and offices. It’s time to work harder then ever and not get paid! It’s hard enough to find someone to listen to your physical complaints, let alone fill out mandatory paperwork.
Paperwork is not necessarily a priority to all your healthcare providers. This paperwork is a PRIORITY! It may determine whether you have an income or not. Without completion of papers you may not be able to return to work. You may even find yourself homeless.
Without an income you may be evicted from your apartment. Your home can soon become a “foreclosed property”. Utilities may be disconnected. The only form of transportation can be repossessed. Food suddenly becomes a luxury and not a necessity because you simply can’t afford it!
Medications are necessary but not affordable because your benefits have lapsed; because you can’t afford them; because you can’t get your prescriptions filled in a timely manner and finally your health doesn’t allow you to pick-up prescriptions and your local pharmacy doesn’t have delivery service. If delivery is a problem negotiate with the pharmacist, a neighbor, or others to help pick-up medications.
No Paperwork? Leads to….
- NO Income
- No Housing
- No Utilities
- No Food
- No Transportation
- No Job
- No Insurance
- No Benefits
Who pays the bills when your are injured? Everything is a business. Apartment managers will evict without delay. Utilities are disconnected and to reconnect there are additional fees. Mortgage loans begin the foreclosure process within 90 days.
What can you do to make sure your paperwork is completed? Asking for paperwork to be completed may not be enough.
- Fill out as much as possible
- Don’t take excuses. Ask what date you can pick it up or have someone pick it up. Wait while the paperwork is completed.
- Fax additional copy of paperwork into doctor’s office
- Call doctor’s office everyday requesting completion by a precise date
- Inform secretary you will be calling everyday (so they aren’t surprised that you are calling)
- Provide agency requesting paperwork with the telephone and fax number to physician’s office
- Recruit as many people as possible to help with follow-through and telephone calls as this is exhausting emotionally and physically
- Ask to speak with the nurse
- Remain calm, Be assertive, and Remain persistent
- Keep precise notes, time, date & whom you spoke with & their response to your call
What are your experiences trying to get paperwork completed? What have you found works and what doesn’t?