Right on the money

No matter what your goals or circumstance, financial literacy is a crucial life skill. As the cost of living rises in both rural and urban areas in Ontario, it’s important to plan wisely and deliberately for a full, independent life. And, when you have a spinal cord injury or other disability, the need is even greater, as earning can be delayed or compromised. By exploring your options, gaining relevant knowledge and skills, you’ll build a stronger financial landscape. We are proud to partner with Hudson Wealth to provide you with expert information and resources:

Partners in Financial Health

Percy Pierre, CFP®, CLU, CHS President Hudson Wealth & Trust Planning GroupFirstly, allow me to express how proud we are to sponsor an organization as indispensable as Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. We have worked with survivors of spinal cord injury for many years and each of them has expressed what a valuable resource this organization has been from the early going and on through the years. As such, we are delighted to be a part of the family and to provide financial counselling and planning services to its members.

Percy Pierre, CFP®, CLU, CHS
President
Hudson Wealth & Trust Planning Group

Hudson Wealth & Trust Planning Group was formed by three partners with extensive experience in solving complex financial problems brought on by injury or disability. We developed a suite of services designed specifically for the needs of those who find themselves in these unfortunate situations, as well for their families and loved ones who often provide care and support. To learn more about these services visit our website or contact us today.

Your Financial Health
Like your physical health, your financial health is something you should be on top of and have checked regularly. In cases of injury and newly acquired disability there is an immediate need for intensive medical treatment and there is also a need for extensive financial analysis. Furthermore, these situations call for highly specialized expertise. Just as you wouldn’t ask a dermatologist to treat a neurological issue, you wouldn’t want just any financial professional to address the intricate details that accompany these circumstances. As such, you would want to ensure that you have a Disability Finance Specialist on your team.

Where to start
If you, or a loved one, have recently been injured or disabled, it is vital to assess the new/current financial circumstances to ascertain the best way forward. This cannot be done early enough, but it is never too late. There are numerous studies that show how critical mistakes get made when people make important decisions under stress. This is why it is so important to have cool-headed professionals on your team in the early going. We are happy to provide a zero-cost, zero-obligation, initial consultation to help answer some questions and put the next steps in order.

What you will need to know:

Do I need a lawyer to deal with my insurance company?

  • A personal injury lawyer can be an advocate to support litigation and other outcomes. SCIO has corporate partnerships with some Ontario-based law firms, including Bergeron Clifford and The PIA (Personal Injury Alliance), an organization made up of three of Canada’s top ranked personal injury law firms – McLeish Orlando, Oatley Vigmond and Thomson, Rogers.

How am I going to make ends meet under the circumstances?

  • Auto insurance policies provide some income (this varies depending on your pre-accident employment), but this is rarely enough to sustain your lifestyle.
  • A Disability Finance Specialist can help examine your current situation and make recommendations how best to move forward.

Which government support programs am I eligible for and which is/are right for me?

Other potential support programs

  • March of Dimes
  • CHIRS
  • OBIA/BIST

Are there types of accounts I should be looking into?

  • The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is specifically designed to provide a tax-sheltered place to save money as well as to access government financial benefits such as the Canada Disability Savings Grant (CDSG) and the Canada Disability Savings Bond (CDSB) program.
  • The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is required to be eligible for the RDSP. The application can be found here; but it is advisable to get advice from a knowledgeable professional before submitting.
  • Many of Canada’s banks provide reduced fees for people living with disabilities. Contact your branch or banking call centre to learn more.

Important information for family members of injured/disabled persons:

Auto insurance policies and government benefits programs come with a great deal of fine print. It is important to be well informed along the arduous journey of supporting a loved one through these difficult times. Be sure to consult the right professionals to ensure that you do not inadvertently render your loved one ineligible for one or more benefits.

Potential pitfalls:

  • Loss of government benefits due to an inheritance
  • Reduced insurance benefits
  • Loss of potential tax savings
  • Increased out of pocket expenses due to missed opportunities or rejected application

If you plan on providing financial support, care services, or an inheritance to an injured/disabled loved one, please consult a Disability Finance Specialist before making any irreversible decisions.