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What if workers’ comp is not enough to live on?

If you suffer a workplace injury, you probably need to take time off work while you recover. The good news is that most employees are eligible for workers’ compensation. This benefit may provide them with some funds to offset lost wages, medical bills and other expenses. However, even with these benefits, sometimes it’s just not enough to get by.

Exploring your options

It takes time to process a workers’ comp claim. You might not receive payments immediately. This means that you may have to shoulder most of your medical fees and expenses out of pocket, at least at first. Additionally, workers’ compensation benefits may not cover your entire salary, which could put a cap on your budget.

Consider these options when you’re having trouble making ends meet:

Take out a loan

It can be awkward to ask close friends and family for financial support, but chances are they will be more than happy to help out. Borrowing from someone you know may mean you will pay very little or no interest at all. And unlike with banks, you likely do not need to go through multiple layers of approval.

If you don’t want to borrow money but need help, they could provide nonmonetary support. Helping you with babysitting, grocery shopping, driving or sharing a meal may seem small, but it may reduce the weight on your shoulders.

Practice being frugal

Start cutting costs where you can. Pause any streaming service subscriptions or gym memberships you don’t really see yourself using at the moment. You could also try ordering less takeout and enjoying more home-cooked meals.

It is still important to take care of yourself while you are recovering. However, by making some compromises here and there, you could have more funds to spend on necessities.

See if you qualify for disability benefits

Receiving workers’ compensation wages does not disqualify you from receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, you need to meet certain requirements to be eligible. The total amount you receive from both benefits must not exceed 80% of your average earnings.

There are some things you shouldn’t give up while you’re recuperating. Eating nutritious meals, commuting comfortably to the doctor and spending time with your children are just a few examples. With enough rest, you should be able to return to work in no time.