Financial planning is a layered process and can get even more complicated when you’re planning for an existing or potential disability. However, it’s important to be prepared for disabilities to happen in as many ways as possible, including financially. Here are four tips for disability financial planning.

1. Determination of Needs

Financial planning for people with disabilities begins much the same way as any other type of financial planning. You need to determine your needs, but this can be difficult if you’re planning for a nebulous future where disabilities aren’t certain. If you already have a disability or a disabled dependent, you can develop a timeline, a wellness program, a plan for making and saving money and short-term and long-term goals. If you’re planning for potential disabilities, you may want to determine the most likely possibilities but you should focus on saving as much as you can and purchasing disability insurance.

2. Supplemental Income Sources

Disability can greatly harm your ability to many money, whether you can’t work at all or the number of hours you’re able to work is reduced. Supplemental income is a necessity if you’re unable to work. In many cases, you’ll be eligible for either social security disability insurance through the federal government or private disability income insurance through your employer. If you’re not eligible for either or the benefits aren’t enough, you can also see if you qualify for workers’ compensation or employer sick pay. There are also last resorts for supplemental income, such as refinancing and credit cards, but these are much riskier options.

3. Cost Guides

Disabilities are more common than you might think. As a result, many types of disabilities have cost guides and tipsheets available online. These guides tend to be general breakdowns of the costs associated with that particular disability and ideas for how to achieve certain financial goals. You can use them as a template on which to base your personal financial needs and plan.

4. Financial Advisors

Financial advisors can assist with all forms of financial planning. You can seek out an advisor whether you’re planning for the possibility of disability or if you’re disabled and need assistance in solidifying a financial plan.

You may not experience disability in your life, but there’s no way anyone can know that before something happens to cause a disability. It’s better to be prepared for the possibility than to risk something happening and not having a cushion.

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