A workplace injury can flip your life upside down. You can suddenly find yourself unable to work and earn a living at a time when you’re trying to cope with extensive amounts of pain and suffering and hospital bills are coming due. This can create an overwhelming amount of anxiety, especially as it pertains to your financial well-being.
Although things can get tough after a workplace accident, there are steps that you can take to ease the burden. The biggest one is to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re successful in recovering this support, then you can receive money to help offset your lost wages and medical expenses. That’s not to say that you’ll be made whole, though, which is why you’ll have to take additional action to protect your financial stability as you focus on your recovery.
Budgeting after suffering a workplace injury
Money might be tight after being injured on the job. Although workers’ compensation can give you the relief that you need, you’ll still want to be cautious moving forward so that you can maintain financial stability.
Creating or modifying your budget can be helpful. Here are some tips for addressing yours while you’re on workers’ compensation and recovering from your injuries:
- Analyze your bills: When money is short, you need to assess your expenses to see if there’s anything you can cut. You’ll have to pay your medical bills, keep a roof over your head, and put food on the table, but you might be able to curtail discretionary spending while you’re focusing on your recovery and getting back to work.
- Assess your savings and other resources: While workers’ compensation is a great way to obtain some financial stability in your time of need, it might fall a little short of what you were hoping. In that case, you’ll want to assess your resources to see if you have emergency funds to pull from to offset your costs until you can get back to work.
- Be cautious with credit cards: Although your budget might include credit card payments, you should focus on clearing this debt and refrain from using your credit cards to pay for large bills associated with your recovery, such as your medical expenses. The interest rates on a credit card can cause balances to skyrocket, and reporting the debt to credit agencies is easier for credit card companies than it is for hospitals. So, as you budget, make sure you have a plan for how to safely cover your expenses.
- Consider how long you’ll be out of work: Some people who are injured on the job are able to incrementally return to work in quick fashion, thereby limiting the financial struggles that they face. If your injuries are so severe that they’re going to force you to change careers, though, then your budget should take into consideration your need for additional training and education to prepare yourself for your next career.
A workplace injury can leave you reeling, unsure of where to turn for help and uncertain of what the future has in store for you. Fortunately, you can take control of your recovery and your future. One of the best ways to do so is to seek out the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.