Adjusting to your new normal while living with a disability can take some time. Use this guide to help plan for and find your and your family’s new normal.
Get Your Finances in Order
One of the biggest concerns people have when going on disability is how they’ll cover their bills or current lifestyle. A disability also comes with added medical bills. Your disability income may be less than what you were making previously. Getting ahead of your bills and income and making any necessary changes now can help save you and your family from any potential financial difficulties.
Consider Your Legal Options
No one wants to get stuck in a lengthy, expensive legal battle, but sometimes, going to court is the only way to get what you need to live life comfortably with a disability. Some disability claim types are even more difficult to manage, including ERISA. If you worked for an employer with an eligible plan, contacting a lawyer can be helpful.
An ERISA disability lawyer can help you navigate the legal claim while you focus on other important adjustments in your life. A lawyer may be even more beneficial if you have already filed a claim and were denied.
Money often plays an important role in adjusting to a new disability. With the right finances, you can purchase the necessary assistive equipment. You can also focus more on your recovery when you’re not forced to go back to work before you’re ready.
The Importance of Your Mental Health
A physical disability doesn’t just affect your physical well-being – it can also impact your mental health. Similar to how you might seek medical care from a doctor, it’s okay to seek psychological help from a psychologist or counselor.
Your therapist can help you come up with additional techniques that can make adjusting easier. Joining a disability support group may also be helpful.
Eating a healthy meal and exercising can also help you protect your emotional well-being during this time. Try to integrate fruits and vegetables into your meals. Minimize foods high in fat or sugar. You may need to adjust your exercise habits to accommodate a new disability, but you can work with your doctor or physical therapist to come up with a new routine. Don’t forget to prioritize a good night’s sleep. Sleep may be even more important to your health than you might think. If your disability makes quality sleep difficult, consider discussing your options with your physician.
Know When to Ask For and Accept Help
A disability may make doing certain things difficult, and that’s okay. It’s important to find ways to minimize the impact of the disability on your day-to-day life. Learn to advocate for yourself, whether for mobility or legal rights.
Know when to ask for help, whether with basic tasks or childcare. Know when to accept the help that your family and friends may offer.
Find ways to repay the favor if you’re still hesitant to accept help. You can always help a family member research something or complete bookkeeping tasks in return for help. Try to find unique ways to thank your family and friends so you feel better about asking them for the help you need..
How To Talk to Kids About a Disability
Bridging the topic of a disability can be difficult with children, especially younger ones, who may not fully understand why you can’t do some of the things you once did. Family sessions can help bridge this topic. However, it’s important to remember that children do tend to adjust easily, sometimes better than adults.
Take Things One Day at a Time
One of the best things you can do when learning to adjust after a disability is to take things one day at a time. One day, you may feel pain-free and emotionally strong, ready to take on the new world. The next day, chronic pain and frustrations over things you can no longer do may take up most of your mind. It’s okay to go back and forth. Try to learn to accept what you can’t do and adjust to what you still can.
A short or long-term disability can be a huge life adjustment. However, with the right planning, you can adjust and live a happy and fulfilled life. One of the first steps toward adjusting to a new disability is getting your finances in order. Sometimes, that may mean filing an ERISA disability or appeals claim.