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Has your spouse been injured and unable to work? I could really use your expertise and advice, please!


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While I was visiting family in NH, my dh decided to do some work on the roof where he stepped on to a wet tarp and slid right off and broke his leg. I got the earliest flight back and today we went to see the orthopedist for the first time. He really did a number on his leg. It's shattered, which means he is going to be out of work for some time. We have enough savings to get us through 4-6 weeks but that's it. What did you do to get through a financial crisis? I don't even know where to start. I'm feeling overwhelmed and the stress is causing my fibromyalgia to go haywire. Things are not good here. He's also overwhelmed and won't even discuss our financial situation. Help!

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DH wasn't injured but he did have a scheduled surgery just recently that had him out for 6 weeks.  We utilized a combination of savings and short term disability to get things handled.  STD is usually at a percentage of full pay but when combined with savings, it can stretch things out.  

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6 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

Does he have short term disability insurance through his employer?

He doesn't, unfortunately.

2 minutes ago, Medicmom2.0 said:

Yes, but his was worker’s compensation so eventually we got money back.  I have been off on short term disability, but I am in New York where it’s required. It pays significantly less than what I made a week but air was able to go back to a desk job fairly soon.  
 

Does he have PTO/sick time available? We used that as well as savings. Does he work a job that he has to walk at or are there reasonable accommodations that can be made?

He has no PTO or sick time. He's a  mail carrier so he needs to be able to drive and walk. He broke his right leg. I'm hoping they can find some sort of office work for him but I don't really have a lot of faith they will actually do that. He doesn't work in an employee friendly enviroment.

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The post office doesn't offer STD?  I find that rather surprising...

 

Back in 2013, DH was laid off.  That was much more difficult in terms of finances because we had much less in savings, and even though he received unemployment, that really only ended up being like 35% of his original take home pay.

 

I went and got a job.  Actually 2.  One full time and one part time.  They weren't fabulous jobs.  I worked at an Amazon warehouse overnight, and then also at CVS.  I was making like $12 or $13 at Amazon and $8 at CVS.  I worked those jobs around each other, and also around DH going for interviews...some of which were quite a distance away.  It was a complete pain in the rear end, but it was only temporary.  He was out of work for about 4 months, and the moment he started working his new job, I quit both of mine.  (well, actually, I was "temp" with Amazon and they had let me go right about that same time....but I would have been quitting anyway.)

At that 4 month mark, we were pretty much out of money, and I was outta gas.  If he had been out any longer, I would have needed to take on more drastic steps like actually going out and finding a real position in like a school or something (my degree is elem ed.)

 

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11 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

The post office doesn't offer STD?  I find that rather surprising...

 

Back in 2013, DH was laid off.  That was much more difficult in terms of finances because we had much less in savings, and even though he received unemployment, that really only ended up being like 35% of his original take home pay.

 

I went and got a job.  Actually 2.  One full time and one part time.  They weren't fabulous jobs.  I worked at an Amazon warehouse overnight, and then also at CVS.  I was making like $12 or $13 at Amazon and $8 at CVS.  I worked those jobs around each other, and also around DH going for interviews...some of which were quite a distance away.  It was a complete pain in the rear end, but it was only temporary.  He was out of work for about 4 months, and the moment he started working his new job, I quit both of mine.  (well, actually, I was "temp" with Amazon and they had let me go right about that same time....but I would have been quitting anyway.)

At that 4 month mark, we were pretty much out of money, and I was outta gas.  If he had been out any longer, I would have needed to take on more drastic steps like actually going out and finding a real position in like a school or something (my degree is elem ed.)

 

According to FEBA: "As a Federal, Postal or DC government employee you are not provided with short-term disability insurance from the federal government. If you are out of work and have exhausted all of your sick and annual leave, your income from the federal government will stop. You will need an additional source of income."

I was surprised to find there was no short-term disability but I guess I shouldn't have been. Thank you for the idea of 2 jobs. That is something I'm going to look into heavily.

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Find out where the food pantries are in your area. Money not spent on food can be spent on something else. 

Check into Catholic Charities and also local Catholic churches. You do not need to be Catholic. Around here, most of the Catholic churches have a no-questions-asked food pantry, and sometimes short-term money for this month's rent or utilities. For the money, you have to talk to someone and give information. Catholic Charities may be able to provide more assistance, and they are usually really good about guiding you to other services, which may be the greatest need. 

Edited to add that I'm sure other churches have similar programs, I just happen to be more familiar with the Catholic ones. 

With limited savings, I'd be applying at the local groceries and such. 

 

 

 

Edited by katilac
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Was he at work when he was injured? 

Here workers compensation is only for people who are injured at work. 

If you are injured while not at work then you have about 6 days of  paid sick leave. Workplaces may hold a position opened for you but they don't have to pay you. 

 

My DH was injured at work in a work place accident. He was unable to ever go back to work. He is now on a disability pension. We live very frugally. 

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11 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Was he at work when he was injured? 

Here workers compensation is only for people who are injured at work. 

Here, too. It wasn't the OP who talked about workers comp. 

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12 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Was he at work when he was injured? 

Here workers compensation is only for people who are injured at work. 

If you are injured while not at work then you have about 6 days of  paid sick leave. Workplaces may hold a position opened for you but they don't have to pay you. 

 

My DH was injured at work in a work place accident. He was unable to ever go back to work. He is now on a disability pension. We live very frugally. 

He was injured at home but never going back to work is a huge fear of mind. We won't be able to survive that since we live frugally now. Well, I do. DH is a little more free with money than I am but still not a big spender. We'd have been better set up financially with our savings if we hadn't been hit with several big home repair bills within the last 6 months. This whole thing is so 2020.

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3 hours ago, stephanier.1765 said:

He was injured at home but never going back to work is a huge fear of mind. We won't be able to survive that since we live frugally now. Well, I do. DH is a little more free with money than I am but still not a big spender. We'd have been better set up financially with our savings if we hadn't been hit with several big home repair bills within the last 6 months. This whole thing is so 2020.

I am so sorry.  Please try to breath and just get him well.  He will be ok.  I am sure he will work again.  Dh has a horrible accident in 2009 that shattered his tibia plateau....but he is doing well and holding down a job.  Just buckle down and hang on.  

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25 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I am so sorry.  Please try to breath and just get him well.  He will be ok.  I am sure he will work again.  Dh has a horrible accident in 2009 that shattered his tibia plateau....but he is doing well and holding down a job.  Just buckle down and hang on.  

Thank you! I can't tell you how glad I am to read that. I mean that truly.

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11 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

Thank you! I can't tell you how glad I am to read that. I mean that truly.

Good.  I know how scary it is.  Dh ended up with a total knee replacement in 2017......but he worked a lot of years, most of it doing very physical work, in between.  

You might go in to debt to survive it.  That is ok.  Life goes on.  Start now applying for every benefit you can. 
Does he not have long term disability insurance either? If not and it goes on too long you might qualify for a kind of temp disability 

Edited by Scarlett
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Can he get unemployment?

I am so sorry this happened.   2020 is the worst.   

Do you work now?  

Look into food pantries. 

If you have mortgage or car payments,  call an ask if they are putting off payments. 

Can you sell things?

Get a job to help tide things over until he can go back to work.

 Would think of having a few jobs if you can.  You talked about fibromyalgia, are you physically able to work?  

Could you tutor?

Hopefully with you working, unemployment, and savings you can make it through. 

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I would contact DHHS and apply for anything and everything you can.  You might get medical coverage (even if just for the kids), help with food, and possibly more .

Utilize food pantries, etc.  If you have a church community some will help with utility bills, mortgage/rent for a month or 2, etc 

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Thanks all for all wonderful ideas. I knew some of you have been in this position before while I don't know anyone IRL who has. I'm keeping a list and will start working  my way through it. I wish he would be more involved in the brainstorming but I understand that he is overwhelmed just like I am but is in pain on top of all that.

16 hours ago, happi duck said:

Many (hugs)

Does the union offer any help or guidance?

I've tried to encourage him to look into this but he wants to wait until after surgery (Wednesday) so he'll have more information to give them. That makes sense, I guess. 🤞 that he'll do it then. He's a terrible procrastinator.

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I’m so sorry.  
 

What comes to mind: The Catholic Charities idea.  MIL was the director of a large area catholic charity with a specific name - a saint name, forgive me for probably botching it, I’m not Catholic, and it’s been a few years - it was something like St Vincent de Paul, maybe?  Someone here will know.  I was under the impression that they have locations everywhere.  ...They have a food pantry, but the big thing was the financial assistance. They could do one time big helps.  Mortgage, rent, replacing lost glasses, expensive meds. There were no income limits, but there was an application and a phone call of some sort to tell someone what was going on. My MIL would have been delighted to help your family, it’s exactly what their service is meant to do.  Recipients don’t need to be Catholic.

All of these ideas feel like they have hoops for you, and you’ll have to run around getting it all done - hard with an injured spouse and fibromyalgia.  I wish there were more, better options.

Wishing your DH a full, quick recovery.

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