Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Beneficiary Finally

I had an appointment today, so I had to take the day off work. Taking advantage of the time, I decided that I would FINALLY get Denis onto my benefits at work.

When I was home last year between trips, I went to the Benefits Department at work to add him to my benefits. I had my coordinator in Uralsk send me a PDF of the birth certificate and translation.The gentleman responsible for my file told me that he required the original birth certificate (as if he could read it anyway). I told him that I was returning to Kazakhstan to get my son and I would have the original and I would bring in at that time.

The first business day after Denis was home, I returned to the office, with the original of Denis 'new' birth certificate with the translation. However, at that time I was told I couldn't change from Individual level to Family while on parental leave. Great, now you tell me, let's ignore the fact I had tried the week before when I wasn't on leave (and he wasn't in my care, but was mine....yah, let's not go there). The upshot was I had to wait until I was back to work to add him to my coverage. But before I left the office that day, I made sure that copies of the documents they needed were photocopied and placed into my file, and I filled out the proper forms, so that as soon as I returned to work Denis would go onto my benefits.

I went back to work in November and was swamped. I started on Halloween into a class where some of the children had been switched into my class just 4 weeks earlier, and none of the students were told that their teacher was only a temporary replacement. Talk about stress for the kids and the parents, and the stress came to school in the form of very angry letters and phone calls. And then 2 days later it was Denis' 3rd birthday, his first with us (and by the sound of it, his first birthday celebration ever). In other words, I was happy to be just getting up and out in the morning and I forgot to call the Benefits Department. Eventually the gentleman responsible for my file called me, but he had none of the paperwork and I would have to go into the school board office and redo all the paperwork (isn't this something we know well as an adoptive parent)s?).

And that brings me to today. I had planned to go after work one day, but on the days I remembered to bring Denis' paperwork something would stop me from leaving school until the point I wouldn't be there when that gentleman left work at 5 pm. It is a good thing as it took him a good 90 minutes to go through the paperwork. (I have to say I did not think it was that complicated). He read EVER line of the translation of the birth certificate, and I had to keep explaining how it worked, what each part meant. At one point he asked why it said I was the mother as I wasn't his mother. I corrected him saying I was most definitely his mother and pointed out that the date of the certificate was 15 days after the judge said 'yes', not at the time of his birth. 

Unfortunately, Denis won't really be on my benefits until the 1st of May, as they only add people once a month, that means exactly 6 months after I return to work he is finally on my plan.

Now, while I was there I decided to start Denis' Registered Education Savings Plan. That involved a lot more paperwork, by someone who has never done the paperwork before and it only took 10 minutes (and we are involved with the government with this paperwork).

Not sure what this means in the broader field, but wow was it ever annoying. Happily it is done. What's next on the list of annoying things to do? Oh, ya, taxes.


keoghclan said...

Congrats the paperwork is done! You are right it is a pain! As a HR person I have had the pleasure many times over the years in my career verifying, completing this process :-) what really confuses me is that you had to wait until you returned to work? I have worked in private and public org's and have NEVER heard of this. Paperwork should be done once you came home with your little man....... At least it is now over!

You are going to Kazapalooza this year right? We are looking forward to it! Roll on the summer!..... M

Anonymous said...

Someone in HR was being a pain. Izak was on my benefits the day I expected the adoption to be finalized KAz!! Sorry to hear you have encountered such bungling beurocrats right here in our own country;-)