Let’s set the scene. You’ve sustained an injury that is going to leave you off work for a long period. You’re going to be sat at home for a while to recover, but you’re also worried about a couple of things. The first thought is whether you’ll still have a job when you recover. And the second is how you will be able to cover your monthly outgoings.
It’s never a good situation to be in. Some people find their recovery time slows down because they worry so much about those two things. Still, it’s possible to take control of the situation and use it to your advantage. In today’s blog post, I will share with you some tips on how to manage your finances during long-term leave. Here is what you need to do:
Make sure you get statutory sick pay
SSP, as it’s often called, allows you to get paid while you’re at home on long-term sick leave. You can get it for up to 28 weeks if you’re an employee but can’t carry out your regular duties.
The big question you might have is “how much is statutory sick pay?” – well, the answer is, it depends! There is a fixed weekly rate set by the government. But, some employers may have more generous SSP policies in place. You will need to speak to your HR department or read your employee handbook for more details.
Find out if you can still work
You might not think it, but sometimes it’s possible to carry on working instead of staying at home. You can ask your employer for help to make “reasonable adjustments” for you. That could involve changing the way you do things. Or even doing another role that won’t impede your recovery.
To be honest, if you can still do other work, it’s an option I recommend you consider. That’s because you will get paid a higher amount than SSP in most cases.
Check for sickness-related benefits
Some employers offer workers sickness-related benefits. For example, an insurance policy that pays you money each month. In some cases, it could even equal your typical wage! It’s worth finding out if you’re entitled to such benefits.
Let’s say that it’s unlikely you can return to work in the future. Your workplace pension may allow you to retire early and quit your job. Again, check with your HR department for full details.
Check entitlement to state benefits
You might be entitled to state benefits depending on the nature of your injuries. For instance, if you’re now disabled, you could get extra financial costs.
Housing Benefit could also cover the cost of your rent if you’re unable to work for a long period. Check the Money Advice Service website for further details.
Cut down on non-essentials
Regardless of your strategy, your priority is to keep your outgoings down as much as possible. That means getting rid of non-essential costs like gym memberships, Sky TV and so forth.
You should also review your grocery shopping spending habits. Could you get the same foods for less by going to a different supermarket? Are there any luxuries you could cut down on? Perhaps you could switch to own-brand foods instead of premium brands.
I recommend drawing up a list of your regular expenses and seeing what you could cancel.