If you suddenly become injured and are unable to work, it can be a massive blow, both financially and emotionally. How are you going to be able to provide for everything that you and your family needs? There aren’t going to be lots of choices, unfortunately, but there are steps to take when you’re unable to work, to make sure that you are able to pay for and to provide the things that you need to.
One of the first things to do is to contact your doctor. You need to understand the severity of the injury and what the limitations may be. It could be that it is something that will mean you can be working again in a few months. It could be that you will be out of work for a long time. Either way, you need an official diagnosis from your doctor, to then speak to your employer about. If you should be back to work after a couple of months, then does your employer offer a sick pay benefit, for example? If so, you’ll need to find out quite soon if this is the case. One of the other people you might consider speaking to is a personal injury attorney if you got the injury as a result of something that wasn’t your fault. If someone else was at fault, then it can be worth pursuing. A lot of them offer ‘no win no fee’ contacts too. So you don’t have to be worried about paying them anything upfront, at least to start with.
Speaking to your employer is the next big step, though. Once you’ve got a doctors note, you need to check on any sickness policies at work. You should also take into account any unused vacation days that you might have not used yet. If so, could they be used towards your time off? If so, it means still getting a paycheck for some of the time that you are going to be off work. So that is definitely something to consider.
In this day and age, there are lots of other options for you when you have an injury. Some jobs will mean that you can no longer (or at least for a while), perform the job that they have employed you to do. So in those cases, they may have to let you go. That can depend on how long you’ve worked there and how big the employer is, though. As there are certain laws that will prohibit that. So it will work on a case by case basis. But if your job wasn’t a physical job, more of an office based role, for example, then it does give you some more options, depending on the type of injury that you have. Could you work remotely from home doing your normal role, as you recover? All you would need is your laptop and a phone, right? So that could be a very viable alternative. There are lots of home based roles for other jobs too. So if you did have to leave your current employment as a result of your injury, then you could look out for those kinds of roles for when you are able to get back working again.
However, if your injury is quite a severe one, in that you won’t ever be able to work again, then you need to start looking into disability benefits. It is all dependant on what you have earned and paid (social security) in the past. So if you have been earning quite well previously and been paying your taxes, then the higher the amount of disability benefit that you’ll be able to get.
At the end of the day, there are a few certain things that you can do now, to make sure that if anything like this happens, then you are sorted financially. At least in the beginning anyway, when the initial stress will be there. One of those is to start saving. Having something to rely on in the case of not being able to work, means that there doesn’t need to be an initial panic. You should also focus on living within your means from today. If you have debts to pay off, then being out of work can be a nightmare as you’ll have loan or debt repayments to make. So clearing debt, and only spending what you have, is a great way to make sure that if you are injured and unable to work, that things will be easier for you.