Workers’ compensation is the benefits you receive after you become injured or ill on the job or as a result of your job and cannot work or earn as much as you did before. The compensation is a percentage of your regular wage and is supposed to help you sustain yourself and cover your medical and rehabilitation bills.
Unfortunately, this money may not be enough to meet all your needs, which can cause financial instability. This article discusses tips to help you stay financially afloat when living off workers’ compensation.
Tips for Financial Stability When Surviving on Worker’s Compensation
Various factors affect what you receive as workers’ compensation, including your company’s annual payroll, job classification code, the severity of your injuries, and the attorney you hire. Different states also have different rates of paying workers’ comp. Regardless of how much you receive, here are tips you can use to ensure you make ends meet.
Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
Since you’re not receiving your regular wage, budgeting and cutting off unnecessary expenses can help you stay afloat. This tip involves critically analyzing your spending habits and suspending non-essential expenditures such as vacations and expensive meals. Instead, direct your income to essential expenses such as medical bills, housing, and groceries.
Request for a Downward Modification of Legal Obligations
The effects of child support on workers’ comp can worsen an already tough situation. Even when you are on workers’ compensation, the law still requires you to meet all your legal obligations, such as paying child support and alimony. Failure to meet your court-ordered legal obligations can cause severe legal problems. However, if you hire a skilled lawyer, they can help you pursue ways to reduce your child support and alimony payments while you collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Consider Appealing an Unfair Ruling of Your Worker’s Compensation
If you believe there was an unfair ruling on your workers’ comp claim and you received a lesser amount than you should have, consider hiring a skilled attorney to help you file an appeal. Insurance companies are profit-driven, and their goal is to limit the amount you receive in an attempt to save money. If you and your attorney are willing to be relentless in your fight, you may end up receiving increased benefits.
Explore Government Benefits
You may be eligible for state and federal benefits such as disability payments, unemployment benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), depending on where you live and the nature of your injury or illness. These helps can provide additional income to your workers’ compensation. However, working with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney is essential to go through the application process for each of them.
Review Your Insurance Policies
If you have any private disability insurance policy or long-term care insurance, it is time to review what additional financial support the insurer can give you during this time. These policies often provide financial protection if you become injured or ill and cannot work. Typically, if you have these private policies, the insurance company may give monthly income benefits that can help cover some of your expenses, allowing you to stay financially afloat.
Fall Back on Your Emergency Fund
It’s a wise financial move to have an emergency fund that can cover at least three months of your living expenses. This fund can come in handy when your workers’ comp is not enough to cover your living costs or as you’re waiting for your compensation claim to be processed. Having this fund ready can give you peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to meet your essential financial obligations even if you’re not receiving your regular salary.
Losing your ability to make a regular income can be tough on your financial stability. While you may receive workers’ comp, your financial security during such a challenging time will depend on your planning, discipline, and resourcefulness. We hope that these tips help you navigate this phase of your life.