Bank on it

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.

When do I start?

Whether you’ve recently sustained a spinal cord injury or have been living with a disability for years, the answer to that question is the same: now! It’s important to take a step back and look at your financial health and the options available to you to plan, invest and save. 

Of course, if you are currently in acute care, the most important goal is to improve your health, so worries of financial health should not be an extra burden at this time. When you are stable and have supports around you to review your situation, that’s when you can take a good look at your goals and the resources available to build a healthy financial life.

What resources are available?

There are a variety of supports you can access to answer questions and forge a path to financial health. Here are some ideas:

  • Talk with an SCIO Regional Services Co-ordinator in your area for guidance on local resources.
  • Learn about funding in Ontario for people with disabilities on this site.
  • Depending on your situation, your insurance company can provide information and support specific to your case. 
  • The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) can answer general questions. Contact the IBC Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-227-5422
  • 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 PIA (Personal Injury Alliance) Law, an organization made up of three of Canada’s top ranked personal injury law firms (McLeish Orlando, Oatley Vigmond and Thomson, Rogers).
  • Banks and other financial institutions can provide support and resources in the areas of financial planning and some offer highly specialized services for people with disabilities.
  • The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has published “Banking when living with a disability”

Establishing new business relationships, making critical decisions and planning for your future when you’re experiencing a major life change can be overwhelming. Take your time. Talk to someone who’s been there. (Consider a Peer Mentor through SCIO Connect.) Get supportive people around you. They can help you move through the stages and make decisions when you’re ready to grow and protect your financial health.