A traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be life-changing for those who sustained the brain damage and their loved ones. The injured person may need to revamp their financial affairs to help fund long-term care or rehabilitation, provide for dependents, or change their living arrangements. Learn more about how to manage your finances (or your loved one's finances) after a TBI.
Impact of a TBI on a Client's Financial Plan
Assessing the full impact of a TBI may take some time. In some cases, a patient suffering from a TBI may seem fine at first—perhaps even declining to have medical care just after the accident. But as time goes by and the brain sustains chronic damage, symptoms may become more obvious.
Often, the effects of a TBI may not be apparent at first. But signs and symptoms like fatigue, confusion, vision problems, and a loss of memory might affect a person's decision-making process regarding finances. 1 A financial professional may assist their clients with both the short-term and long-term impacts of TBI.
Create an Emergency Financial Plan
A great time to create an emergency financial plan is before an emergency happens. An emergency financial plan might cover what may need to happen in the days, weeks, months, and years after a major accident or another health emergency, such as:
- Short-term sources of income (disability insurance policies, savings)
- Long-term sources of income (long-term disability insurance or Social Security Disability)
- Access to and payment for health-related costs
- Naming a power of attorney to handle the injured person's financial affairs if they become incapacitated
Having an emergency financial plan ready might take away much of the fear and uncertainty around finances during a stressful time. You may be able to lean on this plan when making decisions, freeing up your mental energy to focus on more pressing issues.
Seek Disability Income
A variety of sources of income are available for those who become temporarily or permanently disabled after an injury, including:
- Workers' compensation (if the injury happened at work)
- Short-term disability insurance through your employer
- Private short-term disability insurance
- Long-term disability insurance
- Social Security Disability Insurance
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Not everyone has access to these potential income sources. Some, like Social Security Disability, may take some time to take effect. 2 But for many, short- or long-term disability insurance may help cover medical expenses, lost income, and other costs associated with a sudden traumatic brain injury.
Change Living Arrangements
Not all TBIs result in disabling injuries. Nevertheless, some changes may be needed. Lifestyle adjustments depend on the severity of the TBI and its impact on a person's ability to care for themselves. A major consideration is the income available to the injured person.
The person suffering from a TBI may need assistance with certain activities, like feeding or buying groceries. They may no longer be able to live independently, which could require putting their house on the market and moving in with a loved one or to a nursing facility. They may need to sell their home to help pay for the ongoing care they need. Or they may need to make modifications to their home (like widening doorways or putting up a ramp) to make it more accessible.
A financial professional may work with you to review your assets to see what options may provide the appropriate personal and economic outcomes.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any Disability Insurance product. To determine which product(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to purchasing.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
LPL Tracking# 1-05286189
1 Financial planning for clients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, Journal of Accountancy,
2 Adults & Brain Injury: Financial Issues, Brain Injury Association of America,