We often don’t consider what we’d do if we were unable to work for an extended period until we find ourselves in that situation. So it’s important to be aware of what kind of action it is important to take and the quicker we react to something like this the better it is for us. It’s going to be fairly dependant on what the issue for our lay-off is and these can be broadly put into two different categories, of illness and injury, although even this is far too vague a classification system to be of much use.
Get an Idea of Recovery Time From your Doctor
The first thing to do is to get an idea of recovery time from your doctor as you cannot accurately make any further plans until you know how long this is going to last for. If you have not seen a doctor then it’s always important to do this as quickly as possible as if treatment is necessary then it’s essential to get this done sooner rather than later. This will give you a more accurate idea of recovery time and planning the rest of this will be much easier.
Check With Your Employer for Sick Pay Entitlement
In some places, unlike the USA, the government will offer some sort of statutory payment to those who fall sick and are temporarily off work. But assuming that you’re not fortunate enough to be in this position then you should firstly check your contract to see what you are entitled to in event of being off work due to illness or injury. Once you have an idea of what you should be entitled to, if anything, and make an effort to check with your manager to ensure you are getting what you are contractually entitled to.
Know What Government Assistance is Available
So that would all be fine unless you are not entitled to anything from your employer, and although we stated that there is no statutory sick pay in the USA by law there are benefits that are available in certain circumstances. One such program is the SSI (Supplemental Security Income) program for those who are long term disabled and don’t qualify for other benefits, so if you really can’t work anymore this is a way to go but there problems with the SSI program to be aware of.
Make a Claim on Unemployment Insurance
Do you have unemployment insurance? You may not think so but it’s important to check as it may be bundled in with personal accident insurance or other policies. So if you have it you will normally be entitled to a percentage of your normal wage for a defined period. This gives you a grace period of sorts to get back on your feet if something has happened to prevent you from working. It’s important to consider how long the claim process may take so be aware you may still have a small gap in income and be sure to know what your policy covers and that there are not going to be any possible reasons the provider may deny the claim.
Consider Working From Home
You don’t necessarily need to completely stop working if you are suffering from a bout of ill health or recovering from an injury. Of course, be careful that working doesn’t invalidate any sick pay or insurance payouts you may be eligible to receive. But other than that it’s a good idea to consider the idea of working from home as a way to keep getting things done. Cutting out the commute can be beneficial to your health anyway as the time saved is good, you’ll save money and miss out on exposure to all that pollution.
Make Any Changes to Physically Aid You
If you are unfortunate enough to be suffering from a physical affliction or disability then you may find yourself in the situation where you will need to be looking to make changes to help assist either temporarily or permanently. You may need to look at crutches, a wheelchair or even a disability scooter. Other things to consider is driving, will you need to have a suitable vehicle for accessibility, there are even modifications to allow you to drive without using the pedals. You may look at the home as well, access ramps, handrails, and other modifications that may be of use. Walk-in baths and showers are useful and if you have an upstairs then also a stair-lift.