Friday, February 25, 2011

"I know how you feel..."

This post is extremely ranty, you've been warned...

Today I finally followed up to find out the status of my employment insurance benefits. In Canada, you're entitled to claim lost wage benefits for 17 weeks for your maternity leave, in addition to 35 weeks for your parental leave. Because Jack died, I can only claim maternity leave because I have no one to parent... (insert knife to heart here).

I'm thankful to be able to claim these benefits, after paying into them my whole working life. It gives me time to "recover" from my child's birth (and in my case death) before having to face work once again.

Since it's coming on 2 months since Jack was born (twist knife here), and I am yet to receive my payments, I started calling last week to find out what the status was. I was told to call back every 48 hours to find out the status, which is completely inefficient, but whatever. I did as I was told. Today, I called to let them know I am still waiting ( a solid week after this should have been determined) and upon explaining yet again the situation was told it could take another 3 weeks.

I told the woman on the phone that while I appreciate her help, an additional 3 weeks was ridiculous and asked what the heck was taking so long since I clearly met their qualifications (worked for at least 16 weeks in the past year while paying into the system, gave birth, etc.). When I explained to her my situation regarding Jack's loss, she offered no apology, no condolences, nothing... What added salt to the wound was when I was expressing my frustrations and she said, "I know how you feel". I couldn't contain my frustrations anymore, and finally asked to to stop... that she did not in act "know how I feel, I hope you never do"... I realize she was trying to empathize with me, and the situation I find myself in. However, I find it extremely irritating to hear that... Unless you've lost your baby, you'll never know how I feel...

::end rant::

Epilogue: I got the call back from the decision maker, and surprise, surprise my claim for benefits was approved... Thanks, could have done without the telephone confrontation this morning.

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