Unexpected events happen all the time- whether it’s a death in the family, loss of a job, or a serious illness- these kinds of incidents are a part of life that most people just have to accept. Among these, illnesses and injuries can be doubly hard. Not only do they take a toll on physical health, but they can also damage finances. In a 2019 study of 500 patients, 90% of them experienced financial toxicity, or financial side effects brought about by medical treatment, in the year preceding an injury.
The last thing that people would want to do during recovery is to further stress themselves out with financial matters. Below are some ways with which they can save money and manage expenses, and lessen the financial impact of a life-changing injury.
Consult a Lawyer
If an injury is the fault of someone else, then a lawyer can help them claim just compensation. For example, if somebody slipped and hit their head on the job and then had cognitive problems after, such as difficulty in concentration and paying attention, memory problems, and the like, then a brain injury attorney can help them know whether they have a case against their workplace. It’s understandable why some would be hesitant to talk legalese with a lawyer soon after an illness, but it’s a necessary step for smoothing out whatever financial scruples might come their way.
As soon as they’re able, a patient should check out employer benefits that can be applied to them, if there are any. Sometimes there are various leave policies in place like the Federal Medical Leave Act that can provide a bit of a financial buffer. Other alternative work arrangements can be discussed like a work-from-home or a hybrid remote work setup if patient is able to work on a limited capacity. These entitlements may help a patient to keep earning a steady income, which will allow them to cover some of the expenses they incurred (or will incur) during treatment.
Take Care of Debt
When it comes to injury, there’s a high chance that debt would be involved. A 2016 study in the UK showed that 15% of those who have outstanding personal debt are due to injury and illness. If necessary, one should look into creating a debt repayment plan to cover any outstanding bills or debts if there are any. Household bills should be paid as soon as possible to keep penalties from piling up. Negotiating with creditors can also be an option. There could be a chance that a new payment plan can be drawn up, one that is a little more manageable on the wallet.
Take Care of Yourself
Don’t underestimate the importance of self-care. The emotional toll of an injury or illness is already heavy enough. Seek out family and friends for emotional support. If there are crisis support groups and hotlines within the area, then take advantage of them. These can help people get through even the worse of financial crises.
Being injured or having an illness is challenging. However, following the tips above and being proactive when it comes to financial decisions can help ease some of the burden, and improve one’s mental and emotional state while in recovery.