Bankruptcy is hard on anyone, but is much more difficult when disabilities are involved. The rates of several disability types have risen drastically; in recent years, the prevalence of autism has gone from 1 in 150 births to 1 in 68, according to the CDC. Bankrupt parents often worry about how their new financial situation will influence their ability to care for a special-needs child or teen.
Focus on the Positive
Never make your disabled loved ones feel as if the bankruptcy is their fault – because it isn’t. Most parents would never belittle a child or teen to their face, but stressed comments or overheard worrying can affect your loved ones as well. Reassure them that they are not to blame. Also, continue focusing on your loved one’s strengths and what they can do. If possible, involve them in the bankruptcy process. Let them help you budget, and encourage them to speak with your Texas bankruptcy lawyer if appropriate.
Work with Partners
Let your loved one’s doctors, therapists, or other care providers know about your situation as soon as possible. Hospitals and clinics can work with families to reduce the amount of bills or discharge payment completely in extreme cases. Tell care providers if you are filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, as this will influence the kind of help you need or don’t need.
Make Time for Fun
Ensure your disabled loved one still has plenty of leisure time. Don’t deny every request to do something pleasant or say something like, “We can’t do that because we can barely afford to keep you in therapy.” This causes guilt and other emotional fallout. Now more than ever, take time to enjoy your loved one.