Different health conditions can affect many areas of life, including finances. There are many different long-term health conditions that can make it difficult for people to manage their finances.
Long term conditions also affect a lot of people. In Britain over 10 million people have a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability – this figure is over 18% of the population.
If you’re facing a health problem, your finances may be the last thing that is on your mind. However, to avoid money worries from stacking up, you should try and sort out your money situation as soon as possible.
How can health conditions cause financial distress?
There are different ways that long-term illness and disability can impact on someone’s financial situation.
Long-term health conditions may put someone in the following situations:
- Some long-term conditions can mean that you may not be able to carry on your previous job even after recovering, or you may reduce your working hours. This would lead to a reduction in income.
- A 2017 report by The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that the disability pay gap (the difference between what non-disabled and disabled workers earn) is 13.6%.
- Some health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, may lead to impulsive spending.
- You may have to pay for various care, including things like medicine, housing adjustments, and social support.
- It can be confusing and stressful to claim for different benefits, and some people may not know what support is even available to them. You can use benefits calculators to see what you may be entitled to.
- You may not have a health condition yourself, but could be caring for someone who does. This may carry its own costs. Research has found that approximately 70% of carers say money worries are a source of stress.
Health and disability support
Read more about advice on health conditions and finance from StepChange.
There are lots of other great organisations that provide support for this area, including:
- Mencap – Mencap provide information and support for those affected by learning disabilities – www.mencap.org.uk/ – Helpline: 0808 808 1111
- Scope – A national disability charity that campaigns to challenge and change negative attitudes about disability and provides direct services – www.scope.org.uk – Helpline: 0808 800 3333
- NHS website – The National Health Service website contains huge amounts of information on different health conditions and staying healthy – www.nhs.uk/
- British Heart Foundation – Amongst many other activities, they offer information and support for those affected by heart conditions – www.bhf.org.uk/ – Helpline: 0300 330 3311
- Cancer Research UK – Amongst many other activities, they offer information and support for those affected by cancer, including financial support, and coping emotionally – www.cancerresearchuk.org/ – For cancer-related questions call: 0808 800 4040
- Marie Curie – Offer information and support to those who are affected by a terminal illness – www.mariecurie.org.uk/ – Helpline: 0800 090 2309
- Stroke Association – Provides information and support to people who are affected by stroke – www.stroke.org.uk – Helpline: 0303 303 3100