Personal finance can be a challenge no matter who you are. Trying to manage income and expenditures, investment and debt, budgets and insurance … it can make your head spin.
But when you’re healthy and able to advance your career, things tend to have a way of falling into place if you stay disciplined and committed to making smart choices. Unfortunately, workers with disabilities that prevent them from operating outside their home face an unusual and frustrating situation that makes personal finance more difficult than it is for the rest of us.
Four Tips to Get You on the Right Track
Whether you were born with a disability, are suffering from a chronic illness, or have been injured on the job, disability can turn your entire financial picture upside down. And though there might be no perfect answer to your situation, the following four tips may help you develop a working plan.
- Explore Potential Benefits
The good news for people burdened by a disability is that the government offers programs that may help support you financially, though the amounts are typically meager. The two most essential programs you should be aware of are:
- Workers compensation. If you were hurt on the job, or suffered an injury that’s somehow related to your work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Depending on your situation, the benefits may pay for medical care, physical rehabilitation, and a portion of your wages and salary until you’re able to return to work.
- Social Security. When most people hear the words “Social Security,” they think retirement. However, there is also Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which provides benefits to disabled individuals if they meet certain qualifications. Getting your SSDI claim accepted can be difficult, though, so you might need some help if you wish to obtain benefits.
When you’re unable to work and make a living, you need some kind of income to survive. You won’t get rich off such benefits, but they might provide enough for you to make ends meet.
- Develop a Budget and Cut Expenses
When you’re on a low and/or fixed income, it’s vital to be tactically sharp about how you spend and save. The first thing to do is develop a budget. That doesn’t have to anything fancier than a sheet of paper that lists your income and expenses so you know where every dollar will, should, and does go.
Once you’ve developed a budget, you can begin to identify areas where you might cut back on expenses in order to save or reallocate the available funds. Examples of expenses that could be cut include cable, cell phone plans, gym memberships, meals out, and unnecessary shopping.
- Find a Job That Allows You to Work From Home
One of the fortunate things about being disabled in the 21st century is that the Internet is around to afford you greater opportunities to work from home. Depending on your physical condition, you might be able to supplement your monthly income by picking up odd jobs. Gigs such as freelance writing, data entry, tutoring, and affiliate marketing online can be flexible and rewarding.
- Focus on Getting Better
Finally, make sure you’re focused on getting better. As long as you don’t have a condition of permanent disablement, you are among the majority of people on disability have the option to go back to work and resume normal activities. Concentrate on getting as healthy as you can so you can return to work as soon as possible.
Always Look for New Opportunities
The good news for workers who suffer from a disability is that circumstances change, laws evolve, and technology improves. Your situation may seem low on options right now, but any number of factors could change and you might see new opportunities.
Keep your eyes open because you never know what might happen.