Anyone can worry about money, but disabled people can often have more cause to worry than others. Being disabled can make it more difficult to work and limit earning potential, as well as make it harder to save money. For those with progressive conditions, they may worry that their capacity for work will diminish as they get older, as well as having to consider the general effects of ageing. If you are disabled, being able to maximise the income you have and your ability to save can help to protect you now and in the future. Use this guide to start doing this today.
Ensure You Are Receiving All Benefits You're Eligible For
The first thing that anyone should do is check that they have applied for all of the benefits that they think they could be eligible for. There are various benefits to consider, which could help to cover general living expenses or specific costs. Some relevant benefits include Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which is being replaced by PIP, Access to Work, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and Carer's Allowance. There are many benefits for both disabled people and carers to consider, so it's a good idea to browse the information provided by the Government and disability organisations.
If you're not sure where to start, there are several online benefits calculators, which can be useful. They can tell you which benefits you might be eligible for, how you can make a claim, and how different benefits might be affected depending on whether you are in work or not. Some examples of calculators that you could use include Turn2us, Policy in Practice, and entitledto. You will be asked to provide information about your savings, income, existing benefits and pensions, outgoings, and council tax bill. In addition to benefits, you might also get discounts on certain things, such as your television licence.
Exchange Your Higher Rate Mobility Allowance
The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is made up of two parts, which are the daily living and mobility parts. The weekly rate for the mobility part is currently either £23.20 or £61.20. The higher rate can be used for the Motability Scheme, which allows you to exchange it to lease a car, wheelchair accessible vehicle, scooter, or powered wheelchair. When looking for ways to maximise your savings and make the most of your benefits, this is one way you can ensure you are getting what you need.
There are several benefits to using this scheme. You can get new transport every three years, plus fully comprehensive insurance for two drivers. You also have road tax for three years, servicing and repairs, and can have adaptations that make the vehicle more suitable for your needs. You may also be able to find a lease that requires no advance payment, helping you to get started right away.
Look for Work That Can Be Adapted for You
If you're not already working but would like to be, it can be tricky to find a job that works for you. Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments for you, which can include many different things. It's also possible to find extra support so that you can do your job. If you need communication support when you're looking for work, Access to Work can provide you with help for interviews. The service is available for people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing or need communication support because of a physical or mental health condition or a learning difficulty. You might want to consider looking at job sites like Evenbreak and Disability Jobsite, which are designed to help disabled people find work.
Start Your Own Business
If you can't find work that's suitable for you or you want to top up your income, you could also start your own business. This enables you to take control and work around your needs. You can choose a business model that will allow you to work from home and even choose your own hours. You can decide how much work you want to take on, especially if you decide to offer a service or create products to sell. In fact, only having a limited number of items to sell can mean that you're able to charge more and create more demand.
Recently Injured? Make a Claim
Anyone who has a disability as the result of an accident or injury where someone else was negligent might be able to seek financial compensation. This compensation could help to pay for a range of things, giving your savings a boost and helping you to save money. Of course, you could also have a case that doesn't relate to your disability. If you're not sure whether you have a chance of securing compensation, the best thing to do is speak to a lawyer about your situation. However, be aware that receiving a lump sum of money can affect your benefits.
Look Into Low-risk Investing
Investing is a popular way to maximise income and prepare for the future. If you're thinking about how to get ready for retirement, some investments could be a good idea. Choosing low-risk investments can help you to protect your money, and you can derive an income from your investments to top up your other incoming money. A diverse portfolio of investments can help to reduce the level of risk.
Save Into a Stakeholder Pension
Even if you are not working, paying into a pension is a smart idea. A simple stakeholder pension is a good option, and you can pay in what you can. You can get basic-rate tax relief up to a certain amount, so you benefit from a government top-up. You can contribute regularly or put in lump sums and transfer your pension to another provider without any penalties too. For anyone who has a condition that potentially lowers their life expectancy, there could also be eligibility for impaired annuity, which will result in a higher income, as it's expected to be paid for a shorter period.
If you are a disabled person who wants to maximise their money, there are many ways for you to do it for a healthier bank account.
Being a business owner means balancing your business's finances and your personal finances. As well as making sure your business is bringing in enough money, you need to keep your own finances healthy. If you're not personally doing well financially, it will make it difficult for you to continue running your business. Entrepreneurs can face some unique challenges because they take on a lot of risk, and they don't have any support from an employer. If you're trying to run a business while also fulfilling your own financial goals, there are a few key moves that you can make.
Have an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is the savings that you can rely on when you have unexpected expenses. Everyone should have one to help cover costs, such as home repairs or medical expenses. It's even more important for entrepreneurs to have an emergency fund if they rely on income from their business. If your business has a slow month or anything starts to go wrong, you might be unable to pay yourself your usual salary. An emergency fund will help to keep you afloat. Building a fund worth at least three to six months' expenses will give you a strong safety net.
Be Careful with Credit
It's important to manage your business credit, but you also have to pay attention to your personal credit. It's best to stay out of debt if you can and to balance any credit that you do have to make sure you're not borrowing too much. Keeping your credit utilization ratio below 30% is smart. You should try to maintain a clean and solid credit record, so keep up with any payments and avoid missing any, even if you can only pay the minimum payment. This will help you if you want to secure any long-term debt, such as a mortgage, which can be tricky if you're a business owner.
Prepare for Your Future
Many entrepreneurs don't think enough about their financial future. They might feel they can't afford to save for the future or simply don't consider it because they don't have the benefits they might get from an employer. But by accessing some advice on retirement planning for entrepreneurs, you can start getting set up for your future. You can still be prepared for your future and ensure you will be able to retire, even if you don't have help from an employer.
Give Yourself a Pay Raise
As your business grows, you can consider whether you can afford to pay yourself more. At certain times, it could be the right moment to give yourself a pay raise. Of course, you don't want to do this too soon, when it's also important to have money to invest back into your business. However, as your business grows, make sure that you are rewarding yourself for your hard work too. You deserve to benefit from the growth of your company.
Although you need to spend a lot of time working on your business, don't forget about your personal finances. It's important to pay attention to them too.