Getting into debt is something we all try to avoid, however sometimes it’s beyond our control. If we find ourselves suffering from a serious illness or injury, the financial consequences can be overwhelming.
If you are ill and need to take time off work, then loss of earnings can be quite significant, especially if you’re self-employed or own your own business. Loss of wages or earnings can make a big dent to your bank account. The larger financial drain, however, will be the cost of medical care. If you need to be hospitalized for a long period of time or need special treatment, private healthcare can be extremely costly, leaving you in a position where you might have to quickly sell your house to cover costs.
In more serious cases of illness or injury, special equipment may need to be installed in your home. Or you might need to get a live-in or part time carer. Neither of these will come cheap, and chances are, your illness or injury will have come out of the blue, leaving you financially unprepared.
However, if you find yourself in debt due to an illness or injury, try not to let the stress overwhelm you. Debt is a common issue that many people face and you can take action, or get help, to lift you out again. It will be a slow process but by staying positive and being organised you can get there. Start by making a budget. Establish where your largest outgoing costs are, and decide whether these are necessities or not. Do away with any unnecessary costs, and work out ways to reduce your regular bills. Even making small changes like this can help relieve some of the stress.
In some cases you may qualify for a disability allowance or sickness benefit, so it’s worth looking into this option. Enquire with your local Income Support office, who will ask you about your situation and confirm whether you are entitled to some financial help. Also speak to your bank and find out if they can help you; they will have specialist advisors for helping customers with financial difficulties, and may be able to establish a repayment plan for your debts or even extend the terms of any loans you might have.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help; being ill or injured is an unfortunate situation and you don’t have to be left drowning in debt. Taking action and asking for help at the first instance can make all the difference.