Managing limited mobility can put a strain on your finances. Even with tax breaks and other assistance available, it can sometimes be difficult to make ends meet and ensure that you’ve got the money you need to support yourself or your family. Many who live with disabilities have discovered they can make a tidy income on the side, if they’re careful and willing to put in the time and energy investment to do so. Side hustles, freelance gigs and even careers are all available for those who have the drive and desire to go for them.
While the term “hustle” once held negative connotations, a side hustle is all that keeps many people afloat these days with real wages being down across the board (versus inflation-adjusted historical averages). These are minor gigs that you often don’t have to schedule and can fit in almost any free time throughout your day. Many don’t require much in the way of mobility, and those that do often make it easy to find reasonable accommodation (I know, it’s easy to start to hate that phrase) to simplify things. There’s also a large selection of apps and tools for the technically savvy.
Side hustles include:
- Selling homemade crafts on marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay or Amazon.
- Drawing, designing or writing for services like Mturk and Fiverr.com.
- Blogging about your experiences and sharing tips with others.
- Doing online surveys or participating in remote focus groups.
- Offering notary public services at home.
Unlike side hustles, freelance work often comes with a time schedule or at least a set of deadlines. These types of jobs typically pay more with less required up front. You don’t have to craft things in advance or list items in a marketplace, but you will spend plenty of time pitching potential clients and researching markets. You’re likely to need to further develop your creative or technical skills to stay competitive in the freelance world, but the flexibility and ability to work from home can make this a truly worthwhile option for those so inclined.
If you’ve got a creative streak or an in-demand skill set, try freelance work:
- Writing sales or ad copy for companies.
- Preparing medical bills and insurance billing.
- Taking photos for portraits of family or pets in a garage studio.
- Day-trading stocks, foreign currencies or cryptocurrencies.
- Recording voice overs for advertisements or animation.
The modern alternative to the office space, remote workers have their own daily schedules and conform to everything expected of an onsite worker. Telecommuting is great if you already have a degree or can find the time to go back to school while building the experience needed to hold down a competitive position with a major company. A bachelor of arts in business administration degree (BABA) is often the diploma of choice for these types of jobs, though any two- or four-year degree can give you an edge.
Careers where you can work from home include:
- Accounting and payroll or cash-flow consultancy.
- Providing telephone customer service assistance.
- Travel agency and insurance helpline support.
- Online teaching and tutoring.
- Working as a virtual office assistant or concierge.
Take time to do a real analysis of your skills, experience and abilities. Limited mobility matters very little for many of these positions, keeping you on a level field with other candidates. These opportunities often also work well if you’re receiving benefits or assistance, but it is best to check with plan administrators before engaging in additional for-profit work just to make sure you are getting the best deal. All of these options offer time-tested ways to make an income; just watch out for the scammers.