When you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, there are so many intense and scary things to think about, and in the midst of thoughts on health and healing, you also have to think about your finances. If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness, here are five tips to help you through the financial portion of that journey.
1. Address your ability to earn.
Unfortunately, when you are getting treatments or feeling ill, it can become impossible to work. As soon as possible after getting your diagnosis, talk with your human resources rep about any medical or holiday leave you have available.
Also, address whether or not you can keep your job. Small employers may not have to hold your job while you take time off for medical reasons. Other employers may be willing to hold your job or give you a more flexible schedule.
2. Augment wages with grants or assistance.
There are several organisations throughout Australia that exist to help people with the financial burden of cancer. For example, some of them will help fund medical treatments. In lieu of getting financial help from an organisation, many people crowdfund their expenses.
Crowdfunding is where you seek the financial help of your crowd of friends or family. You can do this just by asking for help, or there are websites that allow you to create financial requests, share them with friends and watch the help roll in.
3. Remember to write off medical expenses on your taxes.
When you file your taxes, you can get a bit of extra financial help by claiming your medical expenses. You can write off a percentage of medical expenses over a certain amount which is factored by your income and marital status. By writing off medical expenses, you lower your taxable income, reducing your tax burden and saving you money.
4. Integrate cost-saving measures into your daily life.
To help offset medical expenses and lowered income, look at ways that you can lower your monthly expenses. Take steps to reduce your energy consumption, call creditors to see if you can waive payments, apply for rebates for council taxes and look for additional ways to save.
5. Contact a financial adviser.
Dealing with an illness and trying to juggle finances at the same time can be incredibly difficult, and it can even fill you with despair. To make that easier on yourself, consider contacting a financial adviser such as John Osborne & Associates. These professionals can help you create a budget based on your earnings and projected expenses, and they can help you address any shortcomings.