What Do I Do if I am Injured and Cannot Work?

I know I can’t be the only one who wakes up in the middle of the night worrying about what I am supposed to get done tomorrow, and is there enough time in the day to do it?  Then my brain becomes much sharper than it ever is in the daylight.  My brain recalls everything I am supposed to do, and then nags me that I may not have done it, or I might not get it done.  I struggled with this for years and then it hit me, what am I worrying about, at least I have a job and I can pay my bills and give my children what they need.  So what do you do if you are hurt in a car wreck and can’t work?

Injuries such as spinal cord injuries, brain injury, back injury, amputation, paralysis (either paraplegia, quadriplegia or just a single limb) can interfere with your ability to work for days, weeks, years or even permanently.  These injuries can happen in the blink of an eye.  They can be from construction accidents, highway accidents, semi tractor trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, basically any kind of traffic accident.  A good accident attorney or accident lawyer knows the options when you are injured and can’t work.  Some options are protections you must put in place before your are hurt, and some can be put in place after you are hurt.  I know that some of these suggestions may not be possible due to price or health history, but you can pick and choose what works for you.

Disability Insurance-  The statistics tell us that people under 50 have a much higher chance of becoming disabled than they do of dying.  To protect against this, short and long term disability insurance can be purchased.  On your favorite search engine ( I like Dogpile) type in disability insurance and several companies will pop up.  You can also contact your independent insurance agent.  The amount of insurance you will be able to buy will be based on your average earnings history and what your budget can afford.  As disability insurance payments are not taxable, you can figure that you need approximately 66% of your average wage to be fully covered.  If you cannot afford that much try to think what your essentials will cost and work to replace that amount of income.  Anything is better than nothing, so even if you cannot cover your essentials, get some income coming in while you are hurt.

Employers often times offer short and long term disability programs.  If you can afford it, take advantage of these programs.  You often times can get a direct withdrawl from your paycheck, so it won’t seem so bad.   If you cannot get a paycheck deduction, pay it yourself. I guarantee that you will be tempted to drop this coverage when things get tight.  I know you will groan when you have to write that check, because that ________ (put your latest must have item here) sure looks good.  But before you do that let me assure you, that groan is nothing compared to being in your home, unable to work, with no dough coming in, the bills piling up and the children playing in the next room.  I have seen this first hand, and the level of fear and anxiety in the house is horrible. 

In our next blog we will talk about what you can do, if you were not able to prepare for not being able to work after you are hurt.

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