Being injured at work can have a huge impact on a person’s everyday life. If the injury is severe enough the person may no longer be able to work and in a worst case situation may lose there job putting them in an even direr financial situation. Even if you are fully insured the medical bills can add up quickly and the inability to complete your everyday routine may only further impact your finances so here are eight tips for managing your money after an injury:
Even if you are planning to be awarded a large settlement you have to keep in mind the amount you receive in the end will be much smaller due to bills, fees, and even taxes. In Georgia, at-will employees can be fired for any reason at any time, including while out on disability or while performing “light duties” due to an injury, so if you are able to keep working its recommended.
Although it depends on your specific case you may have to pay taxes on your settlement. Meeting with an accountant or a tax expert can help you understand what you may owe in taxes.
Depending on your case and the settlement amount you are expecting you may have different goals, but most people aren’t experienced in managing a lump sum. Find a professional money manager or financial planner that can help you set short-term goals like paying off credit card balances and long-term goals like setting aside savings.
If you are awarded a settlement, family and loved ones may expect a piece of the pie. Be prepared for them to ask for money and set boundaries ahead of time. Most financial advisors suggest not sharing or loaning any money from a lump sum judgment for at least a year giving you time to manage the more pressing issues you face after an injury.
The first goal should be to clear any debt you have incurred while you are dealing with an injury. If the injury is severe, you probably face some serious medical bills and possibly more in the future. Your attorney will help you navigate this process and make sure your medical providers are paid but taking care of any debt will help ease the financial stress you will face in the future.
Injuries can be complex and even require future treatments or unexpected medical bills and setting aside some of a lump sum settlement can help you deal with these things when they come up.
If your injury has left you unemployed or unable to continue with your career you may need to look into changing jobs. Consider using some of your settlement to further your education, there are many trade schools or even online programs that can help open up potential career fields.
Monthly expenses can add up quickly, especially while recovering from an injury, so it can be helpful to limit what you spend your money on. Make sure that you only get the things that you need and not the things that you want. Try to only spend money on necessities like food, clothing, and shelter while cutting out unnecessary comforts like leisure and entertainment activities and takeout and dining out.