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I have never claimed Employment Insurance (what we Canadians call benefits for those unemployed) with the exception of Maternity Leave, so I don’t really have a clue of the process.

Ib, my Community Case Worker who we have had for 2 years, called to let me know that immediately following My Guy’s 18th birthday, we needed to apply for EI.  As well, all my services through Children Services ends, so therefore we have to apply for the diaper benefit through EI. 

One of the great things they have implemented here in Manitoba is that Social Services and Employment Insurance have manned up in the same buildings to make transitions and communication amongst departments much easier.  (I am confident no matter where we live, fragmented services are a part of the frustrating disablity world.)

The young woman from EI called and advised what I would need to bring, as well she requested that she would require a doctor’s certificate to state that my son is incontinent and still requires diapers.  “Yea, no that isn’t going to happen.  I am not going to take a half day of work to see my extremely busy doctor in order for him to write a letter, that costs me $25.00 to state My Guy is incontinent.  Since, Ib has supplied me with 3 cases of diapers for the past 5 years (when I moved here), he would have invoices to reflect My Guy needs diapers”. 

Her reply was “It’s policy”. 

I ask “Policy or is it a rule?” 

She doesn’t know, but it’s a requirement. 

“Where would I find this on a website?”, I ask. 

“Not sure”, is the response, “but we will need one”. 

“Well, if it’s a policy I need the reference so that I can ensure there is change for those behind me and if it’s a rule, it’s meant to be broken”.

To the young woman, “tell you what you need to know about me.  I will gladly take an entire day off work and go to the Legislative Building or to your main office and petition the ridiculousness of this, long before I ever take a half day off to go to my doctor and waste his time”. 

“How about you take him to the after-hours clinic?” she asks.

“Why on earth, would I take my son to a doctor who doesn’t have a clue about him, just so he can write a note.  While we wait amongst those that need a doctor for colds and flus at this time of year, why would I want to remotely put us in a closed environment of people who are ill, just for a note when you have thousands of dollars in invoices right beside your office”.

“I’ll have to discuss this further with my manager and with Ib”. 

My reply “No worries, but this is a great lesson for us in getting to know each other.  I do not do STUPID for STUPID sake”.

Needless to say, we have a diaper contract and letter wasn’t required.