Saturday, May 13, 2006

It's Enough to Make a Person Go Postal

If it weren't for the wonderful cards and gifts that keep arriving for Natalie, I swear I would just stop picking up the mail. Practically every day we get another piece of bureacratic pestilence in our mailbox. Today's reduced me to a quivering, sobbing lump.

  • Shortly after she was born, we began to receive form letters from our insurance company for Natalie's medical claims (her birth and three pediatrician appointments to date), saying she wasn't listed as a dependent and that if she were not added to the policy within 45 days, they would refuse payment on the claims. However, the insurance company insists that they have to be notified by my employer before they will add her and my employer is adamant that we have to submit her birth certificate and Social Security number before they will enroll her. The insurance company says dependents must be added within 45 days of birth; HR says you have up to 60 days. In any case, we have yet to receive either a birth certificate or a Social Security number for her, but we get the form letters 2-3 times a week.
  • You may recall that a few weeks before Natalie's arrival, the I*R*S sent me a charming missive challenging my first time homebuyer deduction in 2003. Yesterday, the DC government sent an inquiry to both Cait and me, debating our Homestead deduction. Unless Cait has a tropical island getaway she's not telling me about, this *IS* our sole and primary residence and we *ARE* entitled to the deduction, but we now have to jump through hoops to prove it.
  • Today's mail brought TWO doozies. First, the I*R*S has decided that my 2003 return was incorrect, so I owe them more than $5,500 in back taxes, interest, and penalties. Given that I had a baby in the middle of the 30 days when I was supposed to dredge up the documentation for my 2003 filing, I was a little late (3 days) sending them my proof of ownership, so hopefully I can get this straightened out in the end. But it's NOT what I want to be doing during my short time home with Natalie.
  • Second, we got a letter from the midwives informing us that DC Vital Records has rejected Natalie's birth certificate application saying that her last name must be my maiden name unless we list her father's name on the birth certificate. DC has a ridiculous law that babies can only have their mother or father's last name. The ENTIRE reason I rushed the name change through before she was born was so that she could have Cait's last name from birth (by making it MY name too). Not only does this infuriate me because we can't give our child the name we want (yet - don't think we won't be fighting this) but it also compounds the difficulty of getting her on the insurance because the birth certificate info hasn't even been filed yet, 28 days into the 45 or 60 day countdown.

  • Makes a mailbox full of credit card offers, catalogs, and political flyers seem downright heartwarming, doesn't it?

    15 Comments:

    • i'm so sorry--how awful. hang in there; if anyone can solve all these things, it's you two. but it's terrible you have to deal with it, especially right now...

      By Anonymous andrea, at 4:56 PM  

    • Ugh, what a mess. The paperwork nightmare is the only reason we're going to the hospital for the birth of our son. They file everything, we sit back and open letters acknowledging all changes the hospital filed for us. All it took was one post-partum form stating childs name and confirming Mom and Dad's name & SSN. I'd rather tackle a home birth if it weren't for all the ugly you are dealing with right now. So sorry!! On another note, I was ALSO audited for my 2003 taxes, which is rediculious as I was a student that year and made far less then poverty level income.... yet they still decided I'd made an error and owed them $950. What the heck is up with all that?

      By Blogger Mama-Beans, at 7:33 PM  

    • arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

      I feel for you. big time. OH MAN. What a pain the Arse!

      By Blogger Shelli, at 9:43 PM  

    • Don't know if this will help you or not, but our hospital had a "proof of live birth letter" that they give you in lieu of a birth certificate or ss card (which takes 15 weeks or more in va) for you to send to your insurance company. Any chance your birth center that your midwives are based out of have this? Can they get one through the hospital they are affiliated with? Hope this helps. Sorry you're knee-high in this bureaucratic B.S.

      Sam

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:49 PM  

    • Oh, I am just soooo, so sorry that you are dealing with all this! I just can't believe that they are making this so hard for you.

      By Anonymous bri, at 12:16 AM  

    • Ugh, and double ugh! You need some Goo Gone for all this beaurocratic red tape. I can't believe you can't legally marry each other, yet they still want your "maiden" name. Grrr.

      By Anonymous DebbieS, at 2:30 AM  

    • ARGH!!! I get angry every time I think about the difficulties you are going through with our Home of the Free (tm) government system.

      Why can't we have public policy that encourages and supports ALL families? Why are people so afraid of extending equal marriage rights to LGBT families??

      I'm so angry that you're both forced to put up with all these hoops and this nonsense when "married" couples do not have to. Would it be so hard to change the forms to include the possibility of two mothers????

      Someday citizens of America won't have to go through this. Here's hoping we don't have to wait much longer.

      Sorry for this political rant. Just makes me so angry.

      We're involved with a group called Fair Wisconsin here to help fight for equal marriage rights for everyone. I can't believe our state is one of the ones trying to add further layers of discrimination against you with a consitutional amendment banning civil unions and marriage.

      I can't make the birth certificate come any faster, but we can get involved fighting for your rights.

      We're supporting you through this time!!

      Love, Jay

      By Blogger Jay, at 8:32 AM  

    • Oh good lord. I think your term "bureaucratic pestilence" is a great one however, and will henceforth add it to my vocabulary. Remind me to tell Ezra about this BS if she ever tries to talk me into moving to the district.

      By Anonymous jenny, at 9:17 AM  

    • Oh, YUCK!!! Of course, this was the insurance company that pre-approved Cait for a birth, correct? When Julia was born, the hospital insisted on calling her Julia Annette (Kristin's Last Name) even though we told them that her name was My Last Name. So we filled out the birth certificate correctly. But the insurance wouldn't pay for any of Julia's health expenses. Why? First because they thought there were two babies -- one of mine and one of Kristins. And second, because she didn't have Kristin's last name, the insurance thought that Kristin's baby had just disappeared (perhaps adopted out) and that we were trying to foist MY baby on them for payment. It took us weeks to get it all sorted out with increasingly more threatening letters and calls from the hospital's collections dept. And in the end we ended up paying for a major bill out of pocket and getting reimbursed for it later just to get some peace from collections.

      I'm sorry about this mess. Hope you have a happy 1st Mother's Day anyway!!

      By Blogger Trista, at 9:18 AM  

    • I wish I'd spread the three pieces of mail I sent you out over some time.

      We just last week got Sanna's SSN, so I can't fathom why anyone would expect to have that within 45 days.

      By Blogger Brooke, at 4:16 PM  

    • Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. What a ridiculous mess. Why does our system have to make your special new-family time so difficult? Here's hoping you're near the end of this crap soon.

      By Blogger M., at 8:26 PM  

    • Wow. I am just so sorry. What twisted, bizarre, archaic laws. And in our nation's capitol. Oh, the humanity.

      By Blogger Lo, at 7:04 AM  

    • In the end, I had to go wait in line at vital records to get Noah's birth certificate, but the SSN card was sent pretty quickly.

      Unfortunately, the SSA got Noah's name wrong (no hyphen). I haven't had the energy to deal with that yet. Lucky for me, my work registered him on my insurance pre-SSN. But they only give us 31 days, so I guess they have to be more flexible about the documentation.

      Good luck!

      By Anonymous Liza, at 9:42 AM  

    • What an annoying mess! Good luck getting it sorted out.

      It's nice to know there are other DC-area two-mommy families around! We're in Mt. Rainier (just over the line into MD), and we're only just now starting the process, but it's heartwarming to know it worked!

      Congratulations on your beautiful daughter.

      By Anonymous Pronoia, at 1:24 PM  

    • Yes, yes, yes... how does the IRS expect us to come up with all this documentation in a matter of weeks for an issue that they invented!?! I had a similiar experience a few weeks after the birth of my son in which we got an outrageous $11k bill from the IRS, of which we owed a whopping $220 when all was said and proved. Sigh. You can read about it in my blog - I swear our lives are so similiar its creepy...

      By Blogger Blog This!, at 10:30 PM  

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