Financial well being can be a concern after a diagnosis, especially if you’re still in the workforce and your ability to work is curtailed.
If you have to stop working, find out from your employer how much paid sick leave you have accumulated.
If you’re a carer, check whether you have access to carer’s leave from your employer (it may have another title such as personal leave) to let you take time off to care for a family member.
Paid and/or unpaid carer’s leave may be available.
Check your insurance policies. You may have access to:
Total and permanent disability cover (this may be through your superannuation fund)
Private health insurance to help fund costs not covered by Medicare
Trauma cover (this protects a person in the event they are diagnosed with specific illnesses)
Income protection insurance
In limited circumstances it may be possible to obtain early release of your superannuation. Your superannuation fund will be able to advise you on this.
Tap into available support systems
Various support systems and schemes exist in Australia to help people cope with the financial impacts of living with a disability. To find out what entitlements, benefits and resources are available to you, your family and carers, MSWA’s social welfare team is a great place to start.
They can help you navigate through the process of establishing eligibility for benefits, advocating for you and supporting with completing applications.
Planning for your financial future begins with taking a close look at your financial needs and commitments. ASIC’s MoneySmart website has a handy budget planner to help you complete a financial health check as a first step toward making a financial plan.
Once your financial status is laid out clearly, you’ll be better placed to make decisions to help you adapt to your changing circumstances.
For more information, here are some handy websites to visit.