Job Ideas for Disabled People Who Want to Work

Are you retired on disability but still want to work? Not making enough on Social Security alone and need the extra bucks? There are several resources you can investigate.

Social Security Administration (SSA) Ticket to Work program

If you are age 18-64 and drawing either Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Social Security Supplemental (SSI), you are eligible to work without losing your benefits under the guidelines of the program. There is no cost and you are not required to participate. There are many service providers offering jobs about whom you can learn more via the SSA site. If you don’t want to visit the SSA online to find out more, you can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842. The phone rep will either mail you a list of job providers or show you how to use the online search tool. You will also have the option of consulting with your state vocational rehabilitation services or employment network (EN) to prepare you for work, help you determine what kinds of jobs are right for you, and identify which service providers offer those jobs.

Ticket to Work jobs can be quite limited. If you wish to or have to work at home, most of the jobs will be telemarketing. Jobs outside the home might be limited, too, and not in line with your desires and skills. If that is not what you want, there are other avenues to explore.

Networking

Networking is still an option. Even if it’s been quite a while since you last spoke with former colleagues, it’s never too late to call them and express an interest in working. Letting them know what you can and want to do will bring them up to date on your abilities and job goals.

Volunteering

What is your passion? Volunteering is a great way to participate in activities that you truly care about. For example, there might not be a job listing for animal foster parent or Humane Society worker, but if you are an animal lover, volunteering first will expose you to the paid workers and managers who might then evaluate your work and recommend you for paying jobs you didn’t know existed. Do you like to help elderly and disabled people? You might consider volunteering at a hospice facility, or go to a nursing facility and offer to read to the patients or talk/listen to them for an hour, they’ll love the attention. You never know who you might meet there that can help you get a paying job.

Hobbies

Do you like to bake? Donate cookies to hospice and convalescent facilities. If they’re a hit, you might start getting orders from people who will pay you for your confections. Do crafts? You might have dabbled in it and attended the occasional craft show or given your stuff to friends and family. Now that you’re retired, you might consider devoting yourself to selling them at as many craft shows as you can manage to attend. Or, if you aren’t physically up to it, you could sell your work online, such as a professional Facebook page, Etsy, etc.

When it comes to earning a buck, sometimes it works best to think outside the usual boxes we turn to when we want to get a job. As retired people drawing a guaranteed base income, we have the freedom to pursue what is meaningful in addition to what suits our limitations. If one thing doesn’t work out, we will always have our Social Security income. Having that safety net keeps us from making desperate job decisions that we might not be happy with. We have the breathing room to go back to the drawing board and try something else. Why not choose something that will make your heart happy?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
View References
  1. Ticket to Work Program Overview, SSA, Ticket, SSA government site. https://www.ssa.gov/work/overview.html
  2. How It Works, Ticket to Work, Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work. SSA government site. https://choosework.ssa.gov/about/how-it-works/index.html

Comments

View Comments (4)
  • muse77
    5 months ago

    I’m 65 and so far below poverty level that I can’t afford to volunteer or donate. I need to get paid, even if it’s a little. And as a former teacher, in SC full-time teachers earn a pittance. So looking at sub teaching is an option, but if I have to get recertified from Texas to SC to teach, it’ll be expensive. So strike 2. I’m still working on it.

  • marigoldg
    5 months ago

    There are all kinds of ways to make extra money if you’re willing to put in some effort.

    I like to write and I can work from home, on my own schedule, with content writing for internet websites. I write for several different content writing sites that allow me to choose the articles I write and the articles vary in length and topic. The pay isn’t enough to put me over the monthly SSA payment limits, but allows me to supplement my income. For, me this is a good way to keep me thinking and learning about new topics.

    There are other sites that allow you to work remotely doing administrative work, such as scheduling appointments, responding to emails and processing requests for information. Many of these work opportunities allow you to work variable hours.

    If you ARE going to work for income, make sure you check with Social Security about earned income limitations before you do so; the allowance amounts change periodically. If you go over the allowance, you risk having your disability income reduced.

  • tonjakay
    5 months ago

    Is there anyway you could possibly share more information on the content writing? I am very excited to learn more…

  • Kim Dolce moderator author
    5 months ago

    marigoldg, thank you so much for offering more suggestions for employment, and for the reminder to check income limitations.

  • Poll