We all think very carefully about what we would do if we, or our partner, was seriously ill and had to lose time from work. Taking out insurance policies that allow us to be paid in the case of sever and serious accident or illnesses is now a part of our lives, and one which we prepare for. But what happens if it is not an adult who is ill, but one of our children. We are still affected in that we may need to lose a considerable amount of time from work, but we will not be able to claim for lost income, adding an additional worry at a time when we are already worrying enough. Although your child is unlikely to ever suffer from a really serious illness, no one knows what the future may bring. If you have to stop working to care for your child, who is going to cover your bills?
Earlier this year I experienced just how difficult life can be when you are caring for a seriously ill child. Joe was taken into hospital for a routine operation which turned out to be anything but routine. I knew he would have to be at home for two weeks, but complications meant that Joe spent almost six weeks at home. As I worked from home I spent my time looking after Joe, my husband couldn’t afford to take the time off too as we just wouldn’t have been able to pay the mortgage and other bills. But, because my work is freelance and I am self employed, I could not be in a position where I wasn’t working, so I found myself writing during the night, or when Joe fell asleep, when he wasn’t crying out in pain, or needing extra care and cuddles. Even at night I would struggle, as Joe would get up to use the toilet throughout the night, a consequence of his medication to replace the iron his body had lost through heavy blood loss. It was a time filled with pain and worry, made worse by the constant thought of how I was going to reach deadlines and get work done, without literally driving myself into the ground.
What would’ve made life easier would’ve been if Joe’s dad had been able to take some time from work. But as the main breadwinner, this was not going to happen. But being signed up to a scheme like ChildMax would’ve been a godsend at the at time. ChildMax is an insurance policy that will reimburse your take home salary for 12 months while you’re on unpaid leave caring for your child. Claim payments are also tax-free. You can choose a policy that will reflect the salary you want to protect, for example, a parent with 2 young children with a £1,800 take home salary per month would expect to pay £106 (Inc. IPT) for the annual insurance policy. If 1 young child, then expect to pay £61 for £1,800 take home salary. Either parent can take out ChildMax, this would’ve really been a big help to us if Pete would’ve able to take that time to help share the care for Joe. (You can find info on policies and applying here.)
Ultimately money does not make up for your child being ill. But if paying bills is one less thing to worry about, that can only be a good thing.
You can find out more about ChildMax through their Facebook page.