Tips for Managing Your Money When You’re Disabled

by Adam on June 9, 2017

ImportantWhen you’re living with a disability, life and managing your finances becomes much more difficult than it is for the average person, especially if your disability means that you can no longer work for a living.

It is important, though, that you do not panic when it comes to thinking about your financial present and future. Although living with a disability can present many financial challenges, there are lots of things you can do to help you live a bit more comfortably and not have to worry about money so much. Read on to find out more…

Could You Be Entitled to Money?

If you are disabled, there is a decent chance that you could be entitled to more money that you are currently receiving. For example, if your injury was caused in an accident that wasn’t your fault, and you haven’t already consulted a Personal Injury Lawyer, doing so could see you awarded thousands of pounds to help with your care and your daily living needs if it is deemed that you are entitled to compensation.

Alternatively, you might be entitled to more benefits that you are currently claiming. If you are between the ages of 16-64 and you have a disability or long-term debilitating health condition, you could be entitled to claim Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance or possible even Employment Support Allowance, depending on your circumstances. If you’re over pensionable age and you need help at home, you might be able to claim Attendance Allowance, which will help you to get the extra support you need.

I know a lot of people don’t like to claim benefits, but if you are entitled to them, they could make your life so much easier and ensure that you don’t fall into a total financial black hole, so please do see advice and make all of the relevant applications as soon as possible.

Plan for the Future

If you’re on a fixed income, which you will be if you are not working, then it becomes even more important to plan for the future. Sit down and make a list of all your regular expenses, like your rent or mortgage, your bills and the cost of clothing and food. See how much you have left over once the essentials have been paid for and consider redirecting some of that amount to a savings account or investment portfolio. Just because you are out of work doesn’t mean that you can’t, if you’re careful, put a little away for the future, if you’re careful. Obviously, if you’re on the breadline, then taking care of your immediate needs, and possibly getting in touch with your Citizens Advice Bureau or a disability charity who can help you, will be more important, but if you have any disposable income, consider investing it wisely, so that you won’t have to rely on the state pension alone when you reach retirement age.

Set Up a Pension

When you’re planning for the future, you might also want to think seriously about investing in a pension. A lot of people think that because they are out of work they cannot invest in a pension, but it is possible to pay into a stakeholder pension when you’re sick and out of work and it will help you to provide a more secure future for yourself.

Cut the Cost of Your Weekly Shop

If you’re just about managing and finding it difficult to pay for the basics in life, a few simple lifestyle changes could help you to save money and improve your quality of life. One simple thing you could do to cut the price of your weekly grocery shop is to switch to own-brand foods. I know we all have our favourite brands, but most of the time, when you try the generic stuff it is as good as or even sometimes better than the brand, and since it’s significantly cheaper, you could save hundreds of pounds each year by making the switch.

When you’re shopping, it’s also a good idea to find a cash machine that doesn’t charge a transaction fee for withdrawing your money. I know paying £1.50 to withdraw some cash doesn’t seem like much, but even if you only withdraw money once a week, that adds up to £78 a year more in your pocket. If you use ATMs that charge more often than that, you can quickly see how it adds up and makes you poorer. If you can’t make it to a free ATM, see if a trusted friend or family member can withdraw the cash for you, or just use your debit card to pay at the till.

Turn Your Appliances Off

Instead of leaving everything on standby, turn them off when they’re not in use, and you could save as much as £30 per month, depending on how much electricity you use. You can then use these saving to treat yourself or to go toward your heating bills and the weekly shop shopping.

Buy a Pre-Paid Prescription Card

Another good way to cut costs is to buy a pre-paid prescription card if you do not qualify for free prescriptions, but you take a lot of medication on a regular basis. A Pre-paid prescription card costs just £104 for a year’s supply of prescriptions and considering the individual cost of one prescription is £8.40, you could easily make significant savings by paying in advance.

Talk to a Debt Counsellor

If you have only recently become disabled and you were previously in work, and if you have accrued debts during your time working which now need to be dealt with, you really should think about making an appointment with a financial adviser or debt relief counsellor. The last thing you need at this time is to be worried about debts when you should be concentrating on your own health. A good debt adviser will be able to help you work out a repayment plan that is fair for you and your creditors and in some circumstances, they may be able to have your debt quashed completely, so it really is worth a try if you’re struggling.

 

 

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