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Legitimate Work at Home Jobs for the Disabled

Updated on March 21, 2014

How to Work Without Jeapordizing Your Disability Benefits

You can work while on disability. You can also attempt to go back to work full time (even if you are not 100% sure that you can) without compromising your social security disability status. I know because I was on disability, and went back to work unsuccessfully several times.

The process of returning to work after disability is both scary and confusing. There is a lot of conflicting information out there.

"Just because you can't work a traditional office job, doesn't mean you can't work from your home."

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Working after a Disability can be Scary and Confusing

Going back to work with a disability can be confusing, and there isn't always a clear path on how to proceed.

However it can be done, and the money you make can be offset by the expenses you have in order to get to work (whether that be in the form of medication, gas and mileage to get to work, another form of transportation, or other needs for your disability).

People often find this webpage searching for answers to questions like: Can someone drawing social security disability still work, can I have a hobby and still get social security disability benefits, can I do volunteer work and still be on social security disability, can I start a home business and still draw social security disability benefits, do i have to live close to my work if I'm disabled, and are there programs to help diabled people get back to work?

I will do my best to answer the questions I can, and point you to the right resources for the information I do not have.

Your Ticket to Work from the Social Security Administration

Social Security has a program set up to assist the disabled in getting back to work (if and when it's possible). Each disabled person has a ticket that they can give to an employer network (or take back and give to another employer network) to get training, rehabilitation, assistance and job placement. It is never required that you use your Ticket to Work - but if you are interested in trying to work again you should!

Look below for a link directly to a search engine for the Ticket to Work program that will help you find employer network's that serve your area.

Helpful Books on Social Security Disability and the Application Process - and how not to get denied!

How to return to work after a mental disability...

One Brain Tumor Survivor's Story

I was diagnosed with a brain tumor about the size of a lemon in 2006. While the tumor wasn't much fun, eventually (after seven craniotomies) the tumor was gone. But what came next was even harder. After my last surgery I became mentally disabled. To this day, no doctor is exactly sure what happened. Some attribute my mental illness to stress or a chemical imbalance, others say it was an undiagnosed bipolar condition that wasn't obvious until then, and others still think that something happened during surgery. It doesn't really matter.

But I found myself incapable of working (or even functioning as an independent adult) for several years. I was approved for social security disability and was thankful for that. On the days when I was well enough to make sense of what my life had become the prospect of sitting at home and not working the rest of my life scared me. I couldn't help but feel incredibly GUILTY that I was drawing social security disability income to live. I knew I wanted to rejoin the workforce and contribute SOMETHING (anything really) even if it was a simple job, or working out of my home.

I wasn't sure that I was capable of working again. Even if I had a good week, or a good month I was even less sure how long it would last. At some point the good days, weeks and months started outweighing the bad ones - but I was scared to return to work, not knowing if the additional work (or stress) would trigger my mental disability to come back.

So when I started working from home, I stared by doing "my own thing." I had a background in web design and IT, so I had my father help me start my own business (which was really more of a hobby than work - because I don't think I made a dime). But I was able to get myself some updated skills learning online, and kept searching for online work at home jobs I could do. Every time I found a great opportunity, it would work out for a while but then I'd have a relapse and have to stop working.

What I can say is that I did end up with a LOT of information on work from home jobs and opportunities. That's why I'm sharing it here.

Inspirational Books About Coping with Disability and Chronic Illness

Books on Finding a Job and Job Hunting for the Disabled

Don't go back to work until

you've received your first Social Security Disability check or you could delay getting payment or worse compromise your disability status.

How to Protect Your Disability Status When You Go Back to Work

I started working outside my home again by doing volunteer work at a hospital gift shop. That gave me something to get out for, and responsibilities that I knew wouldn't be too hard for me to handle. Volunteer work made is so that I didn't have to worry about having an income (and losing my disability check) or feeling too guilty if I needed to call in for a sick day. The best part was I stopped feeling SO GUILTY for not working. The confidence I gained by volunteering for a half a year gave me the extra push I needed to start applying for real full time jobs.

Eventually, I returned to work outside my home full time. It was VERY SCARY to do this, because I did not know what would happen with my social security benefits, or how to protect my disabled status. I always got different answers when I spoke to different people at the social security administration. However they do have programs in place to help the disabled re-enter the work force, without having to loose your disability benefits. I even had a 12 month trial period where I was able to draw social security benefits while working. This protected me since I wasn't sure if full time work outside the home was even possible for me, or if I would have a relapse.

And relapse I did. And I was lucky to be able to fall back on my disability benefits until I could start working at home in an nontraditional way that allowed me to work at my own speed, and not get sick again. You can read how I am working to get off social security disability here.

Do you know of any other work at home jobs, or programs or resources to help other disabled people re-enter the work force?

What's your working while disabled story? - Are you working after being disabled? Please share your story and help others find their way.

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    • profile image

      blessedbyGod3 3 years ago

      Great post

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi you have a lot of great info here. I have RA plus a lot of other health problems. I was told by my doctors to retire from my job and apply for disability in 2008 I was granted disability in dec. 2008 with my doctor help.

      It so hard sitting at home with nothing to do. In 2010 I found Lifetime Learning classes and they help a lot. I started writing here on squidoo in dec. 2011. I have made a little money here it help my income. I spend a lot of time on squidoo. Thanks for all the tips.

    • rray001 lm profile image

      rray001 lm 3 years ago

      Great information I see you find joy in helping people create a better life. I also like to help people work from home.

    • profile image

      james-mcmichel 3 years ago

      This lens is very helpful.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      I was not able to find any of this when I was there several years ago. However I have a few friends that could use your information and will be passing it along to them. Thanks.

    • profile image

      londonclearance 3 years ago

      Inspiring lens. Thanks for posting that lens.

    • profile image

      Randy123456 3 years ago

      Thanks for this lens, i learn new things!

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      Excellent lens! Full of great information and very helpful! Thanks!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      Wonderful resource. I began writing on Squidoo while still making art and working to improve my health.

    • CharMarie profile image

      CharMarie 3 years ago

      I'm not disabled; although, I do suffer from severe anxiety, which often makes it hard for me to be around other people. I found your lens very helpful! Thank you so much!

    • Mr Criminology profile image

      Bigwas 4 years ago from Philippines

      I want to work from home although I am not disabled.

    • shauna1934 profile image
      Author

      shauna1934 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Where does a person get started scoping?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am soon to be disabled this summer due to the rare finding of a dead or dying talus bone in my ankle. I will have to get surgery and heal for about the whole summer. I am 20 years old and was looking forward to working all summer and now I will not be able to. I am looking for a full time summer online job that pays decently well. To anyone who has gotten success from this website please let me know as soon as possible what option would be the best for me so I don't have to mooch off of my parents all summer.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Even if you are not eligible for SSDI because you haven't worked enough, you should be eligible for SSI.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      There are REAL opportunities to work from home that are not scams. If you enjoy reading, can work on a computer, and like courtroom dramas, scoping may be for you. A scopist is someone who works with court reporters. We edit the depositions and court testimony from home. You need special software and training, but once you get going, you can make a great living. You won't get rich quick. You can expect an average income of $30 - $40K a year. Not bad considering you won't have to leave your house. Best of luck to you. Judy

    • Entrance Mats profile image

      Entrance Mats 4 years ago

      Fantastic list of job hunting resources. It is truly remarkable how technological improvements have made the workplace so accessible for individuals with disabilities. Thank you for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Ther is Medicaid which is run by your state and then TANF

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am unable to collect disability because I have volunteered my time most of my life and apparently have not worked enough hours to qualify, but now, with all of my medical bills, I need an income. I would never be able to get a job at this point and keep it because there would be too many days that I couldn't get up in the morning, etc. I have been looking for something legitimate to do from home for quite sometime now. I truly hope I can find something here.

    • shauna1934 profile image
      Author

      shauna1934 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the submission. It sounds like spam but perhaps that is just a language barrier. Can someone please investigate if this is a legitimate work at home job for disabled individuals? I am a bit timed up right now.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Job Placement for Software Testing, Beta Testing, Usability Testing. Also Tech Support.

      Great Post.

      www.welcomeconsultancy.in

    • MirandaGrimm profile image

      MirandaGrimm 4 years ago

      Absolutely fantastic Squid Lens!! Valuable information. I will be sharing

    • shauna1934 profile image
      Author

      shauna1934 4 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: btw, I added an "all of the above" to my poll because you were right about that too.

    • Freestuffer LM profile image

      Freestuffer LM 4 years ago

      Cool lens! :)

    • shauna1934 profile image
      Author

      shauna1934 4 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: You are right on the money. No one should have to endanger their health or their family to survive financially!

    • shauna1934 profile image
      Author

      shauna1934 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I didn't believe it was possible with Squidoo until I started seeing stories like yours. Thanks for helping me believe I could do it too!! :)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I tried for years to find some sort of part time income that I could do outside of the home to supplement my small Canada Pension but I would always get sick and lose my position and endanger my health further. I finally moved to searching for a means to earn an income online and I have not looked back. I still overdo it on occasion but I am in greater control of my health then I have been in years. I love that I no longer have to endanger my life in order to survive financially.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I started working on Squidoo over four years ago and have exceeded my wildest dreams in earning an income online that I can live on.

    • shauna1934 profile image
      Author

      shauna1934 4 years ago

      @MarcellaCarlton: I didn't know that you would be disqualified from getting disability if you already have a spouse on it. Does it have to do with the family's total income, or something?

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 4 years ago

      I'm currently trying to recover after having a stroke. Everything seems to be fine for which I am grateful to God. But I really don't know which direction to go in. I think they have a Vocation Rehab near Salem, Oregon, and I'll check with them. I couldn't get any disability payments because my husband is already on disability.

    • shauna1934 profile image
      Author

      shauna1934 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I have felt the same way. I want to work and be a productive member of society, but I can't keep going to work and having to get back on disability either. This time I'm trying to work from home to give me more flexibility. What are your skills? Have you talked to the department of rehabilitation?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi, I am so glad there is a forum for these issues. At this point I am seeking rather than offering support. I do want to say to everyone, I am glad to have higher quality problems than before. I have been a student since getting on SSDI. After 8 years of it, I tried to work. I had a seizure and am now afraid to try again.

      I feel so useless and I want so much to be self-supporting and to use my education to make a contribution to my community. I have also racked up debts because I thought I would have no problems paying them back with my new job and extensive education. Any suggestions? Thanks for being here.

    • shauna1934 profile image
      Author

      shauna1934 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Could you get a job in a computer lab, doing what you loved before? There are also online tech support jobs if you can't work in an office setting. All depends on what your limits and abilities are.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: how did you go about this

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My ESA has finished so i have been kicked of benefit and i really don't know what to do. The only thing i have ever loved as a job was teaching basic computing in my local library as a volunteer having been responsible for getting around 10% of the locals on line and how to use the internet.Any one got any advice they can give me

    • IncomeFromHomeT profile image

      IncomeFromHomeT 4 years ago

      I haven't had a disability but I know a lot of people who do and who struggle with getting the info they need. More than one of them have just thrown their hands up in disgust and gone into the underground economy. I can't blame them for it, since I know how frustrating bureacratic red tape can be, and everybody has their tolerance level. Dealing with a disability already stresses all your tolerance levels! But I'm very impressed with you for showing spunk, cutting through the red tape and, even better, helping others find their way to working while collecting disability. Great lens!

    • Srena44 profile image

      Srena44 4 years ago

      great lens

    • shauna1934 profile image
      Author

      shauna1934 4 years ago

      @anonymous: That is awesome! How long did it take you to get up and going until your first check?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have set up my own internet business as a virtual assistant so I can work at my own pace and from home - it works for me and when that first payment cheque arrived you would have thought I had won a gold medal. What a boost to self confidence!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes, I do.

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 5 years ago

      Very useful lens for the disabled. Unfortunately all the countries don't have this facility.

    • fathomblueEG profile image

      fathomblueEG 5 years ago

      @EmergencyPrepar: I have fibromyalgia,cluster migraines and chronic fatigue syndrome as well and I know my time isn't long for working full-time outside my home. Do you have any options for me to be able to work from home? I still need a paycheck coming in but the physical labor I do is not good on me. I pay for it everyday.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      My job is a nurse, and the pre-paid legal lawyer told me it was okay to work as an online marketer because the work was not the same. I was on California state disability. Squid Angel blessed.

    • profile image

      EmergencyPrepar 5 years ago

      I have fibromyalgia and CFS. I've worked at home for over 20 years and I thank God I could do what I do. Great lens!

    • becauseicandoit profile image

      becauseicandoit 5 years ago

      I'm a work-at-home, disabled mom, and I absolutely LOVE what I do! I have an exercise program for people who are physically challenged, and I love being able to help people become more mobile and independent. Feel free to stop by my lenses, if you're interested in checking it out. Great lens! Thanks for the info!

    • profile image

      AngelaKane 6 years ago

      We have many members that are disabled and this is a very good article.

    • jbhumbug profile image

      jbhumbug 6 years ago

      Liked your lens. yes I have a chronic illness and went back to work (permitted work i.e on benefits and working to see if i could return to work UK) but i found it too much.

      If your on income support you can apply for a cinema card (approx £5 year) this gets you and your carer in for the price of one. People are not told what they are intitled to which is frustrating and some miss out. good luck from a fellow squidoo member. xx

    • profile image

      wheelbound 6 years ago

      Wonderful post.

    • profile image

      huvalbd 6 years ago

      Glad to see this lens. I have lensrolled this to my lens about Section 8 rent subsidies for low income tenants. When I had a small apartment building, a number of my renters were living on disability income and needed information like what you give here.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

      Good for you fantastic solid infomration - Blessed by the work at home Angel

    • hotbrain profile image

      hotbrain 6 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      This is a great topic. I'm glad that there is a way for people to re-enter the work force. It makes sense that the government would want you to be able to try to work again. I can understand not wanting to just sit at home all day :) Online work is great for people with disabilities because you can work when you feel good, and take off time when you feel bad.

    • shauna1934 profile image
      Author

      shauna1934 6 years ago

      @LookingforLishy: Please let me know when your lens on IC is complete. I would be curious to know more about it. Have a sister that may have MS (trying to get a diagnosis for over a year now) so any related information is helpful to me as well. If doctor says you should get SSD - get on it especially if the outlook for work is questionable. It's a lengthy application process. You can still work after you're approved for disability, just don't start working again until after you've received your first SSD paycheck (otherwise you could nullify your SSD or delay getting payment). If you just need to get out of the house so you feel like you're contributing and getting out of the house go be a volunteer sick person! SSD is there to protect you whether you can work full time temporarily, or at 25% capacity for the rest of your life, or never again.

    • profile image

      LookingforLishy 6 years ago

      Thanks for this post! I don't have disability at this point in time, but I am disabled and lost my job when I became wheelchair bound. I have MS (I worked for 12 years with this disease--though diagnosis took 7 years), but I have Interstitial Cystitis, or IC, (I'm working on a lense about this horrific disease right now!). The IC is currently being managed with the placement of two pacemakers on the base of my spine...they were placed 5 years apart and the 2nd one caused a colonized infection which exacerbated my MS and affected my mobility, and a new quarterly treatment of 65 botox injections in the bladder through ambulatory surgeries. I'm trying DESPERATELY to go back to work, but live in a small town and am having trouble finding work while in a wheelchair. My doctor definitely thinks I should receive SSD, but I really want to work! I was a better working sick person than a stay-at-home sick person!!!