What do I do if I have a job, but am worried about losing it because of a disability?

Everyone should prepare so that, if they have to quit working because of a disability, they will continue to have an income.

This is especially true for people with health problems.

Many people assume that there will be some program that will take care of them if they can’t work.

That is only true if your are lucky, or prepared.

It is not wise to rely on luck.

So, you must prepare.

Here’s how:

Get Long and Short Term Disability Insurance.

  • If your employer offers short and long term disability, get it.
  • If your employer doesn’t offer long or short term disability, either buy a private policy, or find an employer who offers it, and go to work for them.

Why: You well might eventually win a Social Security disability case, but that can often take years. Long and short term disability usually starts paying benefits immediately after you stop working.

Set aside money for a rainy day

People with health problems have even more unexpected expenses than the average person. You need a cash reserve.

Pay off your loan on the boat, or sell it

In other words, get rid of every unnecessary expense. Don’t buy anything on time, and pay off all of the debts you can. Your income might suddenly drop, and you want your fixed expenses to be as low as possible. A poor couple with a run-down, paid-for house and car can survive almost any financial adversity. A high-paid executive who is spending every cent he earns on time payments on fancy boats, cars, and houses can lose it all in a few months if his income stops.

Get your medical records and look at them.

Your doctors must give them to you for whatever it costs to copy them. You want to make sure that your doctor is saying that you are disabled.

Tell your doctor all your problems

If you tell your doctor you are doing fine, he will write that down, and a judge will use that to deny you. But on the other hand, don’t exaggerate your problems. Doctors will figure that out, write down that you are exaggerating, and a judge will use that to deny you.

Get all medical tests that will document your problem

Get them now, while you have insurance. Don’t have insurance? See next item.

Get health insurance

Somehow. Get a new job. Try Obamacare. Maybe Medicaid. Marry your girlfriend and get on her insurance.

Talk to a lawyer

Preferably get your medical records first, and get a disability lawyer to go over them, and tell you your chances, and tell you what you should do to ensure that you have a good chance of winning a case if you have to quit work.

If you call a lawyer and he won’t talk to you at this critical point in your life, scratch him or her off of your list and call another one.

Try to find a job you can handle

Or retrain yourself for a lighter job.

We serve clients throughout the Carolinas from our offices in Spartanburg, Greenville, and Columbia.