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Chronic Illness & Money Woes: Part 2 Finding Financial Resources

Finding Financial ResourcesPin

Finding Financial Resources

Updated 12/23/2020

Are There Ways To Find Money While Chronically Ill?

The short answer is YES, there are financial resources available. In my experience, before I got sick, I saved money by doing things like, making meals from scratch, hanging up the laundry to air dry, cutting coupons, using cloth diapers instead of paper, etc. If I wanted to save money I had to do more work. Conversely, using products/services that are easier to use always cost me more money. Have you found this to be true for you as well?

However, chronic illness leaves us with less energy and physical ability to do these things to save money. So how can we make ends meet with less income, less energy, and more expenses? Where can we find income to replace our job if we can’t work at all or need to cut back on our work hours?  My number one tip is explore all available options! 

A Note On Frustration

Be prepared for frustration and angry feelings during this research and application process. When I’ve gotten frustrated with filling out forms and making phone calls, my dad has reminded me that “This is my job now.” Of course, I don’t think he quite understands that taking care of my health issues is a full-time job in itself. So searching for money is really a second job.

There are resources out there. They just aren’t easy to access. I remember feeling so frustrated at how difficult the process was to access government assistance. I wondered how anyone could cheat the system when everything is checked and requires documentation. So much documentation! Enlist the help of a spouse, significant other, friend, social worker, or family member to help you wade through this process.

Strategies To Explore

Your most pressing needs will probably be replacing lost income, and paying for medical expenses, so I’ll focus on those first.

Your Employer

If you’re still working, check with your job regarding benefits like disability insurance, family medical leave, and health insurance. Can you take a family leave? Will your employer allow you to work on a flexible schedule or from home? Eventually you may get to the point where you can no longer work, but try to see if you and your employer can make some adjustments to your work schedule or tasks to enable you to keep working.

My employer was able to offer me a Monday-to-Friday, daylight nursing job, instead of working steady nights. This extended the time I was able to work by two years. If I had the ability to go back and relive this period of time, I would have focused more on saving money for the future. I thought that I would be okay and able to work for years, so I wasn’t as frugal with my income as I could have been.

Government Programs

Local Resources

 Saving Strategies

Downsizing Your Living Space

Despite your best efforts, you may have to downsize your living quarters if you can no longer afford your home. This may mean selling a large home, and buying a smaller one, moving into an apartment, moving into public housing, or moving in with family or friends to share expenses. Most of the budget information I’ve read says our housing expenses should be 30-33% of our income. To figure out what you can afford in rent or mortgage payments, multiply your monthly income by 30%.

When I did this calculation, I ended up eligible for public housing. I don’t know about other countries, but there is a negative attitude about public housing in the USA. Being forced to move, because you can no longer afford your home is VERY upsetting. Needing to move back in with your parents, is also very upsetting. Moving is right up there with death and divorce as a high stress event.

Once again, research your options, and check your math. I have found that home ownership is too expensive for me, because of unexpected repairs and ever increasing taxes, especially when I add in unexpected medical costs. Since everyone’s situation is different, only you can decide what you can afford, and whether or not sharing housing is something you can do.

I really hope you don’t have to downsize due to poor health and lack of financial resources, but if you do I understand how traumatic it is. You are not alone! I wrote a post last year about the process of downsizing with 10 helpful tips. You can read it here.

Financial Resources

Please use what ideas work for you and ignore what doesn’t. Your situation is unique, and requires that you adapt all suggestions to fit your life. If a tip doesn’t work for you, let it go without stress.

General Resources: (This resource is Christian based.)

Housing assistance: USA


Apartment Living has this article on Budget Living: Low-Income Housing Information & Help



Medical Bills:

How to Negotiate Your Medical Bills Like a Pro



If you found this post on financial resources helpful, please share it so that others may benefit. I welcome all comments, and questions in the comments below. If you have any tips you’d like to share that would be wonderful! If you missed Part 1 you can read it here:


If you’d like to read Part 3, click here:

Till next time, Kathy

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