Raising a child is an expensive affair, often requiring careful planning and financial management. This gets even more complicated for families with disabled children, as they, on average, cost more to raise, and in some cases, require specialized care for the rest of their lives.
Families with such children often find that their finances are strained. They not only need to foot the extra costs that come with raising their child but may also have to spend less time at work (and therefore earn less). In this article, we discuss some things you can do to ease the financial strain on your family without compromising on your child’s care.
1. Make a Budget
As obvious as it may seem, creating a budget is the first step towards efficiently managing your expenses. A budget clearly shows what you’re spending money on. It stops you from spending on unnecessary things or leaving too little for the essentials (which include your child’s healthcare). By making a budget, you know where every coin goes, so you know exactly where to cut back if you ever need some extra cash.
The amount you should allocate to your child’s care will depend on their disability. Some children, for example, might require assistive technologies and constant attention from trained caregivers, while others may only require a few therapy sessions. For this reason, it is prudent to consult your doctor about any therapies or treatments your child might need and any anticipated costs in the future.
2. Get a Good Health Insurance Cover
As has already been established, children with disabilities often require extra care and attention. Health insurance can help offset some of the healthcare expenses, therefore easing some of your financial burdens. However, there are no health insurance covers tailored for children with disabilities, so you’ll have to shop around and compare various health insurance policies.
To get the best deal, you’ll need to look at what extra medicines and therapies your child needs and choose a policy that offers the most coverage. It is advisable that you enlist the help of your doctor, as they will help you pick a plan that covers your child’s current and future needs. If, for instance, your child needs frequent non-hospital therapy, choose a plan that offers sufficient extras cover.
3. Take Advantage of Government Resources
Some governments offer a number of programs tailored to ease the financial burden on families taking care of children with disabilities. These programs may not cover the full cost of the child’s care, but they can help with the basic necessities. Some of these benefits include tax reliefs, cash stipends, and comprehensive health coverage for children in households that cannot afford a private health insurance cover.
Some states also offer supplemental income programs for persons with disabilities. These, however, are typically based on need and are thus not available for persons whose total assets exceed a certain threshold. You can, however, help your child bypass these restrictions by setting up a trust fund for them. It is recommended that you take this route if you have a child whose disability could potentially prevent them from becoming fully self-sufficient when they grow to adulthood.
4. Work from Home
Working from home not only allows you to stay close to your child, but it also helps reduce your costs. For example, you do not have to spend on commuting, lunch, coffee, and even a professional wardrobe. These savings can help cater for some of your child’s healthcare costs, further reducing the financial burden.
Plan for the Future
Understandably, most parents with disabled children often find themselves worrying about the future. To help secure your child’s future, consider setting up a trust fund for your little one (don’t forget to appoint a suitable trustee). You may also consider buying life insurance for them.