How To Navigate Your Financial Future While Living with a Disability

Guest Article by Patrick Young

Patrick Young and I have become acquainted through the Internet. I appreciate what he does for people with disabilities. His website is http://www.AbleUSA.info.

Enjoy Patrick’s article and watch Rudy Ross explain the importance of Jesus’ ancestors on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Introduction

If you are an adult with a disability, you might have a unique financial picture. You may be raising a family, working at a career, and thinking about how you’ll handle your finances and health care as your situation changes over time. While there are no magic solutions to achieving safe and sufficient care later in life, there are ways to plan for your financial security well into retirement. Real Voices offers the following guidance to help you along the way.

Consider Life Insurance for Family Benefits

Life insurance provides cash benefits to your family if you pass away unexpectedly. Benefits can include payments to replace lost income plus coverage for some medical bills and funeral costs. People with disabilities sometimes think they won’t qualify for life insurance, or that it will be too expensive. With a little web research, you can find affordable options, and even purchase it online, which makes it easy to get coverage at the price point you need. Online calculators can help you determine how much coverage you need to provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

Don’t Skip Final Expense Insurance, Just in Case

While life insurance can cover a lot, it may not handle everything. In that case, your family is left scrambling to get together funds for funeral expenses and end-of-life medical costs. To avoid such a scenario, consider final expense insurance to settle bills after your passing.

Also, note that per LongTermCare.gov, most burial arrangements and funds are exempt from asset rules for Medicaid eligibility. This is a crucial consideration for people who plan to use Medicaid for their health care later in life. After all, Medicaid may be responsible for your long-term care.

Invest Where You Can (with Special Plans)

You might qualify for government benefits because of your disability. But many services and benefits are based on calculations that factor in your assets and income. So, even if you want to save for your retirement and care in old age, you may not be able to without losing benefits.

One solution to this dilemma is a special savings account, called an ABLE account, that is protected under federal law. These accounts can be used for saving cash toward health care and other personal expenses for people with disabilities. And up to a certain amount, your account is exempt from benefit calculations—plus it’s tax-free.

Make Inroads in Your Career

If you intend to work as long as possible, moving up the ladder is likely a major component of your career aspirations. To help you reach those goals, make a plan to achieve them so that you can lay the foundation for a strong financial future. Consider additional certifications that can boost your knowledge and marketability. Better yet, invest in your education in order to command a higher salary. Online master’s degree programs are the perfect option for working professionals, particularly individuals with a disability.

If you already have marketable talents, consider starting a freelancing career. Whether you’re a web designer, writer, or marketer, you can find work through freelance job boards. If you’re starting a career freelancing, Zenbusiness recommends creating a strong portfolio, learning how to effectively sell your services, and improving your time management.

Make Sure You’re Receiving Your Benefits

In addition to savings plans, you should also make sure to apply for every government program you are eligible for. Federal programs for adults with disabilities include everything from social security disability insurance to SNAP food assistance to Medicare.

If you have partial mobility, you might be concerned you wouldn’t be able to use those benefits after receiving them. These days, applying those benefits in your daily life is even getting easier, as tech facilitates both SNAP use and Medicare use.

And, as USA.gov explains, other disability programs help people with disabilities secure safe housing, find jobs, access transportation, receive health care, get educational benefits, and more. Some benefits are short-term, while others are available for extended periods, so be sure to put everything you qualify for to use.

Compare to Secure the Best Financial Scenario

Enrolling in government and other programs can provide a financial benefit over the short-term. But many programs last throughout your life, too. Benefits for people with disabilities include options like social security disability insurance (SSDI) and supplemental security income (SSI), which pay monthly with no end term.

In some cases, you can receive both benefits, but every scenario varies. In general, SSDI pays benefits based on your work history and record of paying into Social Security. SSI, however, is based on financial need, says the Social Security Administration. For many people, working while receiving benefits is a possibility, but there are set limits.

Either way, periodically reviewing your information ensures you’re receiving the most benefits possible. Many programs also have reporting requirements to ensure you’re sticking with their guidelines.

Of course, receiving government benefits may not be enough to secure a healthy and happy future. Fortunately, by taking these steps, you can create a plan for handling your disability and related financial challenges. Then, all that’s left is to enjoy life in the moment.

Photo via Unsplash

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