If you were injured at work so badly that you can no longer continue working and need to instead recover at home, then you are in a bit of a tricky situation. Even if you have the most clear-cut case on the planet, it could still take a while for your compensation claim to go through the legal system, which could mean that you need to cover your own living expenses and hospital bills in the meantime.
To help you manage your finances better so you can more comfortably recover, follow this guide:
Know Your Rights Under Worker’s Compensation
The first thing that you need to know backwards and forwards in regards to your injury are your rights. These will vary from state to state.
1. Go to the Right Doctor (if Applicable)
In some states, for example, you will need to use pre-selected doctors and clinics in order to be eligible for compensation claims. This is very, very important to know in advance if you can, and is best to double check before you visit a doctor. The exception to this is if the injury was so severe it warranted a visit to the emergency room.
2. Inform Your Employer
You will want to inform your employer of the injury and your intent to claim as soon as possible.
3. Hire a Lawyer
You will also want to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Knowing when to hire a workers comp lawyer is important, as only once you hire them can they start to work for you so that you can instead focus on recovering. Your lawyer will also be able to help answer any questions you may have, like the tax rules on compensation.
How to Manage Your Finances After You Have Made a Claim
While you are waiting for your claim to go through, you might realize you have a problem. You still need to cover expenses, rent, and the cost of living while you wait and cannot work. To help you plan your finances during this time, follow these steps:
Cut Down Spending as Much as Possible
Regardless of how much you have saved, it is best to cut all frivolous spending and to reduce the overall expense of necessities until things get sorted.
Work With Your Employer
Another alternative is to work with your employer. Perhaps you can work from home and continue to get paid, or they could forward you your next paycheck. This is on top of other measures, like taking sick or vacation time instead of unpaid time.
Ask For Help from Friends and Family
Last but not least, ask for help from friends and family. This help could be offered by, say, making meals for you (more important if you live alone). They can also help out by letting you stay at theirs while you recover, or just simply lending you money you will be able to pay back once your compensation claim goes through.