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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.


A Cash Flow Statement shows your income and your expenses. You can use our Cash Flow Statement to give you an idea of what to expect if you stop working and go on disability. 

To get a picture, it is not usually necessary to be precise to the penny or even the dollar. Ballpark numbers work. 

If you are registered with us, your Cash Flow Statement can be saved in your home page.

Your Income While on Disability

Your Job

  • Check your employee handbook for both short term and long term disability income to find out how much your job will pay you (if anything) if you become disabled.
  • If you live in New York, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, or Puerto Rico, your employer is required by law to offer short term income benefits. Employers in other states often offer a similar benefit.
  • If it's additional, add sick pay you haven't taken ("accrued sick pay") or sick benefits that will be paid for a certain number of weeks after disability.

Spouse or Partner Income

Consider whether your spouse's or partner's income might change if you became disabled. Would she or he work less to devote more time to you? Or, could she or he work more to make up for the decrease (if any) in your income? In any event, on the chart, enter an estimate of your spouse's take home pay -- not gross.

Self-employment Income

Even though you are disabled, it is possible that you might still receive self-employment income. If so, include a conservative estimate of the amount you can count on.

Unemployment Income

If you go on disability, you generally can't claim unemployment benefits. To get unemployment benefits, you must state you are able to work.

Private Long-Term Disability Income

If you have a private long-term disability policy, whether through your job or on your own, read it to estimate the amount of your benefit.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

If you are qualified or will soon be qualified to receive SSDI, obtain an estimate of your monthly benefit from the Social Security Administration. See Social Security Disability Insurance 101.

If you are covered by both SSDI and a private long-term disability policy, check the private policy to see if there is an offset for Social Security benefits. Many long-term disability income policies provide that your private benefit will be reduced by the amount of your SSDI benefit. If this is the case -- as it is with many long-term disability policies - enter "0" for Social Security Disability.


Most defined-benefit pension style retirement plans allow you beneficiaries to receive a monthly pension in the event of "disability" as defined by the plan. Check your plan to see if this is the case. See Employee Retirement Plan Benefits.

Even though you can often access funds in other types of retirement plans as well, don't include those funds here. Since most disability benefits expire at age 65, it makes sense to keep those funds intact if possible for use during retirement. However, if you have a shortfall, then consider accessing them. You may not have to pay penalties for early withdrawal. See New Uses of Assets: Retirement Plans.

Supplemental Security Income

Read Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to determine whether you might qualify for this government program when your income is lowered due to disability (or even now). If you can qualify, a call to Social Security can give you an idea of the maximum amount for which you qualify. Call 800.772.1213.

Food Stamps

Read Food Stamps to learn about whether or not you might qualify for food assistance when your income is lowered due to disability (or even now).

Other Income

Include in these rows any other steady income that you can expect with near certainty. Examples include rent (which should be included on a net rather than gross basis), alimony, child support, and -- if given regularly -- financial assistance from friends or relatives.

See Increasing Your Income for ideas to bring more money into your household -- both while you are working and if you are on disability.

Your Expenses While on Disability

Medical Expenses That Are Not Insured Or Provided Free  (such as through an emergency room)

Try to estimate the expenses that you would have to pay for  because they are not insured or provided free, that go along with your  condition if it caused you to be disabled. Ask your health care provider or  disease specific national or local non-profit organization for advice.  
Health Insurance Premiums

If you have  employer-provided group health insurance and go on disability, to  continue the insurance, you may have to pay up to 102% of the entire premium  for twenty-nine months when Medicare starts. To learn more, see COBRA.

Health Insurance Deductibles

Focus on how much your health plan's deductibles are. Assume  for current purposes that you will use up your deductible.


When on disability, the total of co-payments will increase  if you see doctors more often, or spend more time in the hospital, or take more  prescription drugs.

Prescription drug cost

Include the cost  of any drugs that are not covered by your insurance.

Your current drug  costs may give you a good idea of numbers to work with. On the other hand, if  your condition reaches the point of being disabling, your drug expenses may be  much greater. Speak with your disease specific non-profit national or local  organization.

Over-the-counter medications / Nutritional Supplements

Good nutrition is always important  See Nutrition.

Over-the-counter medications and nutritional supplements are  usually not covered by insurance.  At  the same time, you may use more of them to alleviate the symptoms of your  illness if it worsens.

Medical equipment

If you might need medical equipment not covered by  insurance, include an estimate of the cost to rent or purchase.

Medical Supplies

Ask your doctor or your doctor's administrative nurse if  there are supplies that you may need that are generally not covered by  insurance.

Home Care

Most insurance plans (including Medicare) limit the number  of visits they will cover.  You could  face large out-of-pocket expenses for home care beyond the limits of your  coverage.  You may get additional home  care if you qualify for Medicaid.

Psychological Therapy

Even if your health insurance does cover it, coverage is  usually limited both as to the amount of reimbursement per visit and the number  of covered visits.

Complementary and Alternative therapies

Most plans do not cover some or any complimentary/alternative therapies  such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and herbal remedies.

Experimental Treatments

Health insurance does not cover drugs or treatments that are  not FDA approved, and may not cover an FDA-approved drug unless it has been  approved specifically for your condition.

Eyeglasses / Contact Lenses 

If your condition could worsen your eyesight, consider  budgeting in a higher amount for these items than you currently spend. Also see Vision Insurance.


While you may have more time to cook more, you might not  have the energy. Combined with the possibility of requiring special diets, this  might increase your food bill. On the other hand, free food delivered to your  door may be available in your community.


If, due to your condition, you have to take more taxicabs or  travel to and from medical care providers more often, your total transportation  costs might increase. As an offset, your cost of commuting to work will be eliminated.

Household Expenses

If you move, your household expenses might decrease.  On the other hand, since you will probably  be spending more time at home, household expenses might increase whether you  move or not. For example, you may keep the air conditioner on all day during  the summer, or the heat on high all winter.

Personal Care

If you go through treatment that alters your personal  appearance, your personal care costs could increase.  At the same time, you might require less expensive clothing and  less frequent haircuts than you did when you were working.


The amount you spend on recreation  could increase due to the extra free time you have, or decrease because you  won't need recreation to release the stress associated with your job.

Professional Services (Non-Medical)

It's possible that you will need more assistance from  professionals such as lawyers, claims professionals, and financial planners  while you are on disability. Try to estimate your needs.

Child care

Child care expenses could increase or decrease if you become  disabled. You might be able to care for your children yourself, or you might no  longer be able to care for them.

Debts & Obligations     

  • Credit cards and loans:  Read about Credit Life, Credit Disability Insurance, and How To Deal With A Financial Crunch to see if you will have to  continue paying off credit card balances and other loans if you become  disabled.     
  • Income Taxes: To see if you will have to pay  estimated taxes, see Estimated Taxes.      
  • Mortgage/Maintenance Fees/Rent: Consider where  you would live if you became disabled. Is it possible that you would move in  with a relative or friend and, as a result, have lower monthly rent or mortgage  payments? (See New Uses Of Assets.)

Savings & Income Protection:      

  • Emergency Fund: If you already have an emergency  fund, you might not need to save anything more toward it.  If you don't have a fund, do what you can to  put cash aside now "just in  case."  (See Emergency Fund.)         
  • Disability Income Insurance: Disability income  insurance premiums usually stop once a claim has been approved. However, if  other members of your household have disability insurance, their premiums will  continue. 

Life Insurance:

If your life insurance policy has a disability  waiver of premium, your premiums will be waived if your request for a waiver is  approved.  On the other hand, if you  have to convert a group life policy to an individual policy, your life  insurance premiums may increase. See New Uses of  Assets- Life Insurance.   Check your policies to see if they have waiver of premium for disability  clauses.  

When Might You Go On Long-Term Disability?

Talk with your doctor to get an idea of when you might have to, or voluntarily want to, go on disability. Bear in mind that the amount of time your doctor thinks you can continue to work is probably based on experiences with a large number of patients or information she read in a reference book. While it will not necessarily apply to you, consider using the time frame as an estimate for planning purposes.

What Inflation Rate Do You Want To Account For?

Our calculator accounts for inflation, based on the estimates you provide.  You will notice that the inflation rate is pre-set at 3%.  If you would like to make more conservative estimates -- allowing for the possibility of higher inflation -- adjust this number upward.