Today everyone has money issues. The economy has tanked and we are all feeling the pinch. But, three surgeries in three years brings on a pile of bills that is not to be believed. Steve even has amazing insurance! I have no idea how people who do not have any health insurance deal with the onslaught of medical bills, lost wages and creditors.
One of the major things to be aware of when you are faced with a short-term or long-term disability claim is that you will only receive a portion of your paycheck. And, in our case at least, it is a sliding scale. So, as the medical bills increase, the income decreases. This is horrifying.
You can offset the difference by purchasing private disability insurance, but many people do not do this. I know we didn't. It never occurred to us that Steve would be unable to work by the age of 40. Even after the first two surgeries, we figured he would always be able to work. He has a desk job and can work remotely. Unfortunately, we did not factor in the pain from just sitting at a computer for eight plus hours.
You should also know there is a waiting period for Social Security Disability. Currently, it is five months. Five whole months where you don't get any sort of paycheck. I can't imagine it. I will forever be grateful for Steve's disability insurance through his employer.
We are struggling right now and, I'm sorry, I don't have any words of wisdom. We are incredibly lucky that I can work from home and can make enough money to keep us afloat. I wish that I would have spent more time growing my business before Steve got hurt, but I can't go back and change that. I can only work with what is in front of me.
I will tell you to set your priorities early. For awhile, we have been living day to day, paycheck to paycheck. I don't think either of us really understood the permanency of the situation. Plus, Steve was unable to do some of the work required for me to have the time I needed to work. If we would have set our priorities, we could have staved off some of the panic we are feeling now. Now I am playing a "catch up" game and it is hard on me and my family.
If you have any suggestions on how to deal with the medical bills and scary financial situation, please comment. I have already cut our expenses to the lowest we can go. Now it is a matter of making more money. I have a positive attitude and have spent many hours in prayer. I could use all the advice I can get.