I can say with certainty that 100% of my clients suffer from financial difficulty when faced with disability, trauma or injury. It is just not common for people to plan for the “rainy day” that could be ill health. Yet, the impact of financial strain is significant. Stress, anxiety, panic, excessive worry, loss of sleep, relationship issues, poor decision making, and maladaptive coping are all common reactions to feeling that you are unable to survive a change in income or increased expenses from medication, devices or therapy.
It is tax time and as such, a perfect time to get a grasp on your finances and, as a disabled person, to try and gain knowledge and understanding about how to maximize the tax-implications of your disability. Perhaps you are behind in your taxes, creditors are calling, or you are considering taking on debt to manage your situation. If you are in this position, or know someone who is, consider the benefits of Financial Social Work. This approach marries the financial input of an accountant with the social need to understand, cope, and manage difficult money situations. I have enlisted the help of my colleague, Dr. Anthony Hutchinson, to explain what Financial Social Work is and what it can do for you:
Financial Social Work is uniquely and highly specialized in serving and supporting individuals facing and suffering from severe financial challenges as a result of accidents, disability, and personal injury as well as psycho-social disruptions. Financial Social Work balances financial, clinical and determinants of health matters required to professionally, holistically and effectively address the optimal psycho-social, clinical, financial and recovery needs of individuals served within a Financial Social Work paradigm. The key strategies of this approach include:
(1) Working with banks and creditors to understand disability provisions that clients have to help them alleviate financial pressures and burdens;
(2) Helping client’s access municipal-based disability support services such as food services, utility bill financial support programs and other financially-related family support programs;
(3) Accessing Provincial financially-related disability support programs such as the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP); and,
(4) Accessing Federal financially-related disability support programs such as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Disability Tax Credit (DTC 2201) and important related provisions such as the Registered Disability Saving Plan (RDSP) as well as Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability provisions.
For more information on Financial Social Work and the benefits to you and your loved ones, contact Dr. Anthony Hutchinson, GA, BSc, BSW, MSW, RSW, PhD, at: 416-315-1604 for assistance.