From all of us at Royal Claims Advocates to you and your loved ones, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season! This blog normally provides you with advice and tips on filing a successful disability claim, but today we’re going to take a break from the normal claims grind – and explain why you should too.
Obtaining your disability insurance benefits should be a priority for about 360 days a year, but the few days around the holidays are meant for family and friends. This is a time when you should try to take a break from the stresses and worries about your claim and its status. Take some time to relax with family, eat some good food, and let yourself enjoy your daily life without worrying of the disability claims process.
Since many of our clients have family and friends near and far away, here are some good tips for those of you who are traveling at this time of year as well as a few for those who cannot make it to see their loved ones.
- Plan in advance. Make sure that you have any supplements, medications, and prescriptions prepared for the period of time you will be gone. Be conservative and don’t time it too tightly. If you need to see your physician or therapists, make sure you schedule these well before you leave as well. Doctors want to enjoy the holidays too.
- Plan for where you’re going. Try to plan at least some activities that suit your abilities. And in case of emergency, research and know what doctor or facilities are available that specialize in your condition.
- Carry a record of all your medications. Make sure you carry a list the names, dosages, and purposes of each of your medications in case of emergency. This may also be helpful when going through airport security. In case of emergency, doctors and EMT’s need to know what you’re taking in case they administer a drug that can have adverse reactions to your current medications.
- Leave plenty of time while traveling. If you’re flying, arrive at the airport early. If you’re driving, allow for time for enough necessary breaks. Airports can be very stressful this time of year. It’s always a better idea to be relaxed, bored even, than having to try to hurry. Use this time to help relieve any pre-trip anxieties.
- Pack and carry an emergency bag. Pack a separate small bag with your medications and anything else you may need to quickly find during your travels. This helps make sure that anything you may need is within an arm’s reach in an emergency.
- And if you can’t travel, try to use technology. Some people simply aren’t able to travel to see their loved ones during the holiday. There are any number of programs that allow you to use your computer and a webcam to be with your loved ones, on a screen if not in person. You can still see and talk with each other. One of our clients put a notebook computer on a lazy-susan on the actual table at Thanksgiving so that several of their children, who were in different parts of the country, could interact with the rest of the family.
The holiday season also brings around financial concerns for many families, especially those who are waiting on the insurance company or are trying to make it just on their disability benefits. This is no easy task, so here are a few words of wisdom on having an affordable holiday season.
- Create a budget. Before you begin shopping, set a firm limit for everyone on your “must buy for” list. This allows you to see how much you will spend and plan your expenses accordingly.
- Make your own gifts. Technology has enabled us to make some great looking gifts ourselves at home. For example, creating a collage of old pictures is a great idea for siblings, parents, and children. Digital pictures can be developed at a number of retail stores into traditional prints. Or, there are a number of companies on-line that you can take your uploaded pictures and send back your gifts.
- Save on wrapping paper. This is one of the hidden holiday expenses few people realize. Instead of using store-bought expensive paper, consider using old newspaper or other creative decorations, such as a plain brown bag with a bow or pine cone. You’ll get points for being fashionable and original in addition to being “cost effective.”
- Plan a staycation. Instead of traveling during the holidays, find things to do locally and stay at home with your loved ones. In addition to being more affordable, this can reduce the stresses of travel and being away from home. Most places have holiday events that happen at this time of year. Do some checking around for churches, civic centers, parks, and other social gathering spots for holiday events.
Claims examiners and other insurance company employees are often out of the office during this time of year, so it can be a good time for a break with little worry of surprises. Also, if you do call and are transferred to another examiner in the office, you may get incorrect or bad information since they don’t know all of the details of your claim. It’s best to just wait until after the holidays to contact your claims examiner with any questions or concerns.
As you and yours celebrate the holidays, take time to remember all of the good and happiness in your life that exists even in spite of your disability. Be grateful for the people who surround you who are part of the support system that helps you make it through these challenges. More than disability benefits, these are the people who will help you get through your conditions and resume a normal life.
And as always, if you need or want, you can call our offices toll-free at (855) 828-4100 or visit our website for a free consultation.