Dealing with the Financial Stress that Can Come with a Disability
One facet of having a disability that many people don’t talk about is the financial stress that is involved. The irony is that a disability may preclude or reduce your ability to earn a living, and yet having a disability is expensive. Here are some ways that you may be able to reduce the financial stress in your life.
Many people with disabilities are independent and prefer not to rely on others for help. They are proud of the obstacles they have overcome, and rightly so. But there are programs in place to help those with disabilities, and many of them can ease your financial burden.
The government offers social security disability, of course. But other organizations can provide products and services that will help you, at no cost.
Assistive technology can help many people be more independent, and there are several organizations that will help with the cost. The Assistive Technology Industry Association has a list of organizations that have funding available to purchase wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility aids; modified computers or tablets that include screen reading software, voice recognition, or modified keyboards or mice, and other assistive products.
Work Together with Your Caregiver
If you have someone who regularly provides care to you and with whom you share financial resources, work together to determine how best to use those resources. Financial stress is a huge burden, but there are coping mechanisms that can help you out. If you know how much money you have to work with and what your needs are, you can then create a budget.
Just knowing where the money is going, and recognizing that all of your basic needs can be provided for, will help reduce your stress.
Consider the Road Ahead
If you receive government benefits and you expect an inheritance at some point down the road, make sure that the inheritance is handled correctly. The person who is leaving you money (often a parent or other relative) should set up a special needs trust for you, which will be funded at their death.
This means that someone else will manage the money, but it can be used for your benefit. This will prevent you from being ineligible for need-based government benefits when you inherit money. Consult an estate planning attorney for more information on special needs trusts.
Knowledge and planning can help ease the financial burden that comes with a disability, taking the pressure off you and your caregiver.