Nobody has ever asked me to see my paper merits. The only thing I ever use the paper ones for is to copy and send to my state fellowship chairman so I get my state credits towards my state degrees. The only time a paper merit might be important is if you have one but it never shows up on PPA records.

As far as not getting merits from different associations that promised them. I assume you have a contract with the association? It should state in the contract how many merits you should get. It's not a great idea to speak without a contract. If you have sponsorship, they will want a copy of the contract for verification. If you don't get your merit from the association get on the phone and call them once a week until you do get it. That's not harrasment, that's making them do what they have promised in your contract.

I do know that sometimes I get a paper merit and sometimes I don't. I am not sure what the difference is, except it seems like if PPA is giving you the merits directly ( like from national comp, working print crew at national judging etc etc) you don't get the paper copy, it just shows up on your record. If you are getting a merit from an affiliate association ( speaking for them, being a state or local president) then PPA sends them a paper merit to present to you. Not sure if this is right but that's what it seems like to me.