Dealing with illness or injury

How to stay on top of your finances so you can focus on your recovery.

When health complications arise, your entire world can be turned upside down.

Suddenly your time, energy and money are shifted from your normal daily tasks to things like doctor appointments, medical scans, blood tests and follow up treatments.

An illness or injury can be extraordinarily difficult, that’s why knowing you are covered, in case you have to take time off work, can help give you piece of mind. Here are five ways you can keep on top of your finances during illness or injury. 

Insurance cover

By looking at your lifestyle you can get an idea of how much insurance cover you need. Remember, as your life changes your cover needs may too. Keep evaluating your assets and debts to ensure you’re properly protected. In some circumstances such as illness or the death of a loved one, life insurance can provide your family a lump sum payment to alleviate some of your family’s financial stress whereas income protection can provide ongoing monthly payments if you are totally disabled and unable to work.

Take care of your emotional wellbeing

Finding out that you have an illness or injury can be a traumatic experience. Be kind to yourself and seek support from family and friends before worrying about the financial consequences of your diagnosis.

There are many support groups and community health organisations who can offer financial counselling or assistance. If you are a Centrelink customer, find out how the Department of Human Services can help you. You can also contact Lifeline Australia for emotional support.

Understand your financial entitlements at work

If you need to take time off, talk to your employer about how much paid sick leave or carers leave that you are entitled to. To find out more about your rights at work see the Fair Work Ombudsman’s sick and carers leave information.

Early release of superannuation

There are some very limited circumstances in which you can access your super before you retire. These situations can include permanent incapacitation, compassionate grounds or if you have a terminal medical condition.

Review your budget

It’s important to reassess your finances if your illness or injury means you will be working less, or on a lower income. A new budget can help you work out how much money you’ll need to cover costs while you are going through this difficult time.

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.