Per-mesh "generate mesh distance fields" setting not working

I want to enable distance fields, but only for one particular mesh asset, without generating distance fields for every mesh in the project. There is a setting for this in the StaticMesh editor, and the documentation suggests this is the way it should work. When you enable this setting on a mesh, the engine does generate a distance field for the mesh, but it can’t be used - materials don’t respond to it and it can’t be visualised with any of the distance field vis modes. Am I missing something or is this a bug, or no longer intended to work?