Money tips

How to seek financial assistance when you can’t work

4 min read

Money tips

How to seek financial assistance when you can’t work

4 min read

Life doesn’t always go to plan. An illness or injury may affect your ability to work, pay your bills and enjoy the things you love to do. Though it can be a stressful time, there are some things you can do to make sure that you and your family are prepared.

Financial difficulty can happen to anyone. If you’re going through a tough time, it’s crucially important for you to have an awareness of your emotional wellbeing and recognise when it is negatively impacted by financial difficulty.

Treat yourself kindly and seek support from loved ones. Feelings of anxiety, stress or loneliness are all common in the face of financial difficulty. If your wellbeing is affected or you’re experiencing harmful thoughts, contact Lifeline Australia at any time on 13 11 14 for crisis counselling over the phone.

Planning for unexpected illness or injury

Being unable to work because of illness or injury can be a worrying time. Though becoming injured or unwell can be unpredictable, you may be able to ensure you’re prepared by putting some protective measures in place.

Create an emergency fund

If you don’t have an emergency fund already, it may be worth considering building one. It mightn’t feel like the most glamorous of savings aspirations, but it sure can come in handy. Even if you’re fortunate enough to not need your emergency fund to cover loss of wages, it could be used for an unexpected trip to the mechanic or an expensive dental bill.

Working out what you may need in your emergency fund will be different for everyone. A good rule of thumb is to add up your essential expenses for two months and allocate that as your savings goal. You could even keep it in a dedicated savings account to earn interest on your balance each month! Starting with our easy to use budget calculator can help you track your finances and stick to your plan.

Set and track your budget

Enlist the help of a financial planner

It can be difficult to plan for unexpected life events. A financial planner can support you to work towards your savings goals, and they can also provide useful strategies that may assist you in being prepared for the unforeseen.

4 ways to seek financial help when you can’t work

1. Let Suncorp Bank know about your situation

If you’re dealing with the financial impact of being out of work due to sickness or injury, Suncorp Bank may be able to help. Call us today on 1800 225 223 from 8:00am-5:00pm AEST Monday to Friday or email us on By letting us know as soon as you can, we may be able to support you by:

  • temporarily postponing loan repayments
  • reducing the amount of your loan repayments, or
  • extending the period of a loan contract.

2. Check your entitlements

In addition to your annual leave entitlements, you may have access to sick leave (also known as personal leave). Check how much you have available with your employer and use it where you can.

If you can’t work because you’re sick or injured, you may also be eligible for a government payment. The Department of Human Services’ Payment and Service Finder can help you find and estimate the payments you may be able to receive.

3. Seek support from a financial counsellor

If you need a hand with managing your financial commitments, try contacting a financial counsellor. They’ll be able to work with you to help you get your finances back on track. The National Debt Helpline  is a free phone service run by Financial Counsellors Australia. Call them on 1800 007 007 to speak with a counsellor today.

Financial difficulty can happen to anyone, at any time. And though letting those around you know what you’re going through can be hard, by doing so they’ll be more aware of your situation and potentially able to offer you support.

4. Reach out for extra support

Financial difficulty is a lot more common than you may think. Fortunately, there are organisations around Australia who have the resourcs to help you get through tough times.

Beyond Blue provide resources to help with anxiety, depression and suicide prevention. Call the Beyond Blue Support Service 24/7 on 1300 224 636. Looking for support near where you live? The Wesley LifeForce service finder has contact information for counselling, mental health and community services throughout Australia. Enter your postcode, town or city to find fast and reliable access to support services, wherever you live.

Published 30 October 2023

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The information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.