Unfortunately bills do not have any respect for your state of health. They keep rolling in and the last thing you want is essential services being cut off because you have not been able to pay them.

What may help

Organise back-up

If you are normally responsible for paying the household bills, brief your partner, a family member or a trusted friend on how to take over from you. Don’t just assume these duties will be picked up by someone else in the household and if you live alone, it’s very important that you organise the back-up support.

Check your accounts

Set up your accounts so that whoever is going to be paying your bills has access to them. Someone you have briefed and trust will need to be able to make or authorise payments on your behalf.

Talk to service providers

Some utilities will deal only with the person who set up the account when it comes to connecting, disconnecting or querying services so inform those service providers that authority has been passed on to someone else.

Also some organisations such as electricity and phone companies are prepared to discuss difficulties in paying bills (a number is usually listed on mailed accounts) and it is better to contact them sooner rather than later.


Keep non-PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) medicine receipts for tax purposes. Ask the Tax Office or your accountant about the safety-net level over which you can claim out-of-pocket medical expenses as deductions.

Last updated 30 August 2015