If you are injured on or off the job, then you could find yourself missing many days of work and significant income. You may become concerned about how you are going to meet your expenses. Instead of lying in bed worrying about how to pay your bills, consider these things.
You may be eligible for workers’ compensation, but the process of getting workers’ compensation can be long and complicated. First, you need to be an employee as opposed to an independent contractor. You must also see a doctor who deals with workers’ compensation cases. Then, follow up with your employer to make sure that all the proper paperwork gets filed with the company’s insurance provider. Next, you must wait for the insurance company to make a ruling. If the claim is denied, you may have to go to court to prove your damages. Workers’ compensation cases can become complicated by all the possible parties at fault and the process of going through the paperwork. Depending on your circumstances, the money may not come soon enough to pay your major living expenses. This is also the time to tap any long or short-term disability insurance you may have.
An Emergency Fund
You should have at least a three-month emergency fund set aside. This money can be used to help cover your expenses until you start receiving workers’ compensation. If you were not injured at work or if you are an independent contractor, you may have to rely on this money long term. One way to build up your emergency fund is to save a little back from each paycheck. Talk to your bank to see if they can automatically draft it out of your account each time that you are paid. Depending on the size of your emergency fund, you may need to control what you spend very carefully.
Many people feel embarrassed to accept assistance, but there are programs designed to help people when they are injured or cannot work for another reason. Emergency food stamps or Medicaid may cover you. You may also want to start checking out your ability to draw Social Security Disability if you cannot return to work. Another consideration is moving into low-income housing where your rent is determined by the amount of money that you have available. There may also be numerous programs in your area run by religious organizations or community-minded groups that provide food or help pay housing costs or basic utilities.
There are many ways that you can meet your living expenses while you are injured. Start making a plan to build your emergency fund before you are ever hurt. If an accident occurs, start the process to get workers’ compensation. You may also want to apply for government aid to help put groceries on your table and keep a roof over your head. In addition, there are private organizations that may provide assistance.