What are some good part-time jobs for a person on an SSI disability?
June 14, 2011 9:39 AM   Subscribe

What are some good part-time jobs for a person on an SSI disability who doesn't want to make more than $720 per month?

I'm 33. I've been on an SSI disability for chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety since I was 16. I live with my mother, and I don't have a car. I'm not happy with my situation, but I'm nervous about jumping into a full-time job--if I could even get one in this economy.

A part-time job seems like a good step. However, I would need to keep my earnings below $720 per month. That way I could save my 9-month "trial work period" in case I do get a full-time job at some point.

That means I would need to work fewer than 18 hours per week @ $10 per hour, or even fewer if I got paid a higher hourly wage.

First question: Am I correct in thinking that I'm not in danger of losing my disability or triggering a case review, as long as I stay below $720 per month?

Second question: What are the best ways for a person who doesn't have a car to make $600-700 a month? I've heard that a lot of part-time retail jobs end up being 30-35 hours a week. I'm thinking that online tutoring or a virtual assistant position might be my best bet.

I'm personable and I have strong English skills. I've tried writing for content sites, but I found it terribly tedious. I've also done some graphic design and web design, but I don't think I'm good enough to succeed in those fields.
posted by aphorist to Work & Money (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
what state are you in?
posted by sweetkid at 9:44 AM on June 14, 2011

If you have a relatively thick hide, you could look into low-level forum moderation. The contacts I have are all video game related, so some knowledge of that would help, but there are probably other opportunities out there. (It's one of the few poorly-paid tech jobs I've found that really can't be outsourced successfully to other countries because it's so dependent on mastery of the local idiom - not just English, but modern American colloquial English (or whatever the local idiom is.)

Feel free to drop me a MeMail if you want specifics. The one I'm thinking of pays $8 an hour.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:56 AM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

Leapforce is a fine (if boring) way to make $13.50/hr on the internet from home on your own time. There's a minimum amount of work you have to do each month to stay active, but it's a lot less than your $720 maximum.
posted by bewilderbeast at 10:00 AM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

don't discount retail if you can handle it. as a former retail manager, i often needed people who could work a specific 5-10 hours a week for 8 bucks an hour, but those people are hard to come by. maybe try places that normally close for lunch (eye glass places in the mall, portrait studios, mom&pops). i hired people just to stand at our counter, deliver portraits, and schedule appointments while we (the photographers) were at lunch.
posted by nadawi at 10:06 AM on June 14, 2011

When I was in elementary school school, my mom would pick up the high school kid from his home to tutor me. Could you tutor elementary through high school age kids English in your home? The parents could drop off the kid and you can set your own hours. If you're not comfortable with teaching from your home, you can meet at the library. The parent has to drive the kid there anyway so swinging by your house to pick you up shouldn't be a big problem.
posted by lovelygirl at 11:17 AM on June 14, 2011

Do you have a college or advanced degree? Would you consider getting one? If so, you can work at your college as a student assistant. I work at a college and we have many students who get SS disability and work as student assistants. I guarantee, you will make less than $720 per month. Many students make enough between SS, food stamps, HUD housing assistance, and student work to live independently, not lavishly, but on their own or with roommates.

Community colleges or state colleges are usually easy to enter and very supportive.
posted by fifilaru at 2:11 PM on June 14, 2011

I work for a blood bank and we hire telerecruiters to work part-time in the afternoons/evenings. They tend to be older and retired or sometimes on disability. It's not as tough as straight cold-calling, because you're calling people who have given blood before. They are usually paid by the donor, or minimum wage if they don't get enough donors.

We also hire people on an as-needed basis to recruit at blood drives - places like malls and Walmarts where someone has to stand and ask every person who comes by if they would like to donate blood. I think they get $5/donor, or minimum wage. Blood drives are between 4 and 8 hours and are sporadic - we may need someone 4 days in a row then not again for a few weeks.
posted by radioamy at 6:44 PM on June 14, 2011

Oh and if you're interested in writing but not just for junk sites, check out Guru. I've gotten jobs there, and my fiance gets a pretty steady steam of writing gigs too. There are tons of different jobs.
posted by radioamy at 6:46 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Sincere thanks for all the suggestions. I will keep looking into them. In the meantime, I've applied to do online tutoring through Tutor.com, and I may also try tutoring at a local community college.
posted by aphorist at 2:41 PM on August 22, 2011

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