By Houston, TX – Ben Dominguez
Your brain injury has changed your life. You may have lost your job, moved to a new home, or are facing medical bills you never dreamed of paying. It’s not easy to manage money after a brain injury, but it can be done.
The financial impact of a brain injury can be devastating. The cost of medical care, lost wages, and rehabilitation expenses can quickly add up, leaving you with little or no money left over to meet your daily needs.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to ease the financial burden on yourself and your family.
Here are some tips for managing money after brain injury:
Make sure you receive proper compensation for your injury.
If someone else caused your brain injury, they should pay for the medical bills associated with it. They should also compensate you for any lost wages due to the injury.
If you were injured at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage should cover some of them. However, many people who suffer traumatic brain injuries are not covered by workers’ comp insurance policies because they weren’t injured on the job or because their employers don’t offer that type of coverage at all. In this case, you can seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against anyone else who may have been responsible for causing your injuries (e.g., another driver, or a defective product manufacturer). Consult expert personal injury lawyers in your area to learn more about this.
Cut some expenses.
If you’re not sure where to start cutting back, look at your monthly expenses and see if there’s anything you can eliminate or do without. For example, maybe you don’t need cable or Netflix. Maybe you could get rid of your car payments and still get around just fine by taking public transportation or relying on rides from friends and family members.
Get help with bills and other expenses.
If you’re having trouble paying bills after your accident, consider getting help from a family member or friend who can assist with payments until you’re back on your feet again. Or talk to creditors about lowering interest rates or extending payment deadlines so that they won’t end up suing you for nonpayment.
You can also get rid of any credit cards that you don’t need. If you’re behind on payments for other accounts, get those paid off first before closing any accounts.
Create a budget.
A budget is a plan for how much money you’ll spend and where it will go over the course of a month or year. It helps you stick to your spending limits and avoid debt by showing you how much money is coming in and how much is going out each month. Your doctor or other medical professionals can help you create one if needed.
Find a new income source.
If you’re unable to work due to your injury, look for alternative income sources that you are able to do. For example, if you were previously self-employed as an artist or musician, try selling your art or music online or at local arts fairs and festivals. You could also consider offering your services as a freelance writer or photographer.
Consider budgeting apps.
Look into budgeting apps like Mint and You Need A Budget (YNAB) that can help you keep track of your spending habits and make better financial decisions moving forward. These apps can also help with creating monthly budgets based on realistic spending habits and savings goals.
Maximizing government assistance.
Take advantage of government assistance programs that provide medical benefits and disability payments if needed.
There are several government programs that can assist you with your finances after a brain injury. The first step in getting help is to determine if you qualify for assistance and how much assistance you will receive.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is a monthly benefit that provides financial support if you become disabled and unable to work. SSDI is designed for people who have paid into the Social Security system through their employment. In order to qualify for SSDI, the applicant must have paid enough into Social Security over time and meet specific medical requirements related to the disability.
If you have been disabled due to your brain injury and are unable to work, you may be eligible for social security disability benefits (SSDI). To qualify for SSDI, you must meet strict requirements regarding how long and how much money you made before your injury. These requirements vary depending on the state where you live and when your injury occurred; however, generally speaking, if you paid into the system (through your paycheck) for at least 20 years prior to becoming disabled and earned at least $1,130 per month before becoming disabled, then it may be possible for you to qualify for SSDI payments.
Social Security Insurance (SSI)
SSI is another form of financial assistance from the government that can be used by people who are disabled or blind but don’t earn enough money from other sources to cover their basic needs such as food, housing, clothing, etc… In order to qualify for SSI, an applicant must be relatively young (under 65 years old), have limited financial resources and meet certain medical criteria related to their disability or blindness.
Negotiate with your care providers.
You’ll likely experience significant changes in how you manage money after a brain injury — from difficulty with math to memory loss to emotional instability — so you may need time to get back on track. If you have insurance coverage, ask your rehab center or doctor’s office if they will negotiate payment plans with you until you’re able to resume regular payments. You can also try to negotiate a lower rate for medical care and other services. For example, if your doctor wants to charge $100 per visit and you think that’s too high, ask if you can pay less or get the same treatment from another provider.
In addition, some creditors you have might also be willing to work out payment plans if they know that you’re having trouble paying off debts.
Managing Money After Brain Injury
While money management is important to everyone, it’s even more crucial to those with brain injuries. Their comprehension or reasoning skills may be impaired and they will likely have trouble paying attention to details. This makes them vulnerable to financial exploitation and poor decision-making when it comes to how they spend their hard-earned money. Consider trying some of the tips outlined above to help you manage your finances better.
About the Author
Ben Dominguez an Injury & Accident Lawyer, is a locally owned and operated company based in Austin, Texas. The company is committed to providing its clients with personal guidance to protect their legal rights. Their team of lawyers has many years of experience, insight, and a strong work ethic to ensure that their clients receive their desired outcome. For more information about the company and the services they provide, visit their website at https://bendominguez.com/.