Getting a part-time job with major health problems
August 20, 2016 3:26 PM   Subscribe

I need a job where I can make $1000 a month after taxes. The catch? I have serious health problems and limited skills. Much more info inside.

This is the kind of job I need:
I have to be able to work from home.
Very few or no deadlines.
Part time. Roughly 10 - 25 hours a week
Flexible. I Should be able to do the job any time of day.
I would like to make $1000 a month, but even $400/month would help.

Why do I need something that has so many restrictions? Because I have ongoing health problems. Just this last month, I had an infection that really made me feel bad for days at a time.
I have inflammatory bowel disease. My immune system is suppressed because of an organ transplant.
I get infections easily because of my situation. I’m working to get my IBD under control, but it’s taking longer than I expected.

My skills.
About 8 years ago I worked in television news. I was a producer. I wrote news copy and organized news programs under tight deadlines.

For the last couple of years I’ve been trying to teach myself to code. I have a modest understanding of Ruby. I’ve written a few programs and websites. However, nothing really polished or finished. I’ve mostly been a hobbyist.
My city is flooded with coding bootcamp graduates. I’m not sure my hobbyist skills will get me very far.

I probably have more skills. But I don’t know how to explain them. I haven’t worked in 8 years. For the last 8 years I’ve struggled with illness and taking care of my two kids.

So, what kind of job would be good for me?
When I worked in the news, my days were challenging and mentally stimulating. I’m worried my destiny is in telemarketing or data entry.
I’m not ruling such things out. It’s just hard to go from being a boss and writer to being a drone or doing boring work.

I feel like I’m at the end of my rope. I worry I’ll never be able to work again.
My family does have income. My wife works. But she doesn’t make a lot of money. I also get Social Security for disability. If we could just make another $1k/month. It would improve our lives.
FYI I’m male and 40.
posted by dork enlightenment to Work & Money (12 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
A lot of companies, like Amazon and Apple, hire part time, work-from-home, customer support reps. I got a job like this without any experience. The work is easy (except for the customers) but there was a set schedule so I wouldn't consider it flexible. It's not interesting work, either, so for me it was about the steady paycheck above all.
posted by girlmightlive at 3:42 PM on August 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's not good pay, but you might be able to pull in some small coding projects on fiverr/upwork, or help people with their studies by advertising yourself as homework help.
posted by notquitemaryann at 4:12 PM on August 20, 2016

there's a magazine called woman's world that has a column on these kinds of jobs every month. can you see if your library has back issues?
posted by cda at 4:59 PM on August 20, 2016

You may qualify for the Ticket to Work program, which may be able to help with training and finding a job.
posted by lazuli at 5:11 PM on August 20, 2016

There's a possibility you'll put your social security disability payments at risk if your after-tax income is $1000/month. The SSA looks at gross earnings to determine whether someone is engaged in substantial gainful activity, and for 2016, the gross amount someone can earn is $1130/month. Any expenses related to your impairments that are incurred to allow you to work are deducted from that amount, but you should be aware of this upper limit.
posted by bullatony at 5:26 PM on August 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Do you live in a university town? I believe you can still make money formatting thesis for people. This would be in your own time.
posted by Kalmya at 5:29 PM on August 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Kalmya's suggestion is good, but disagree that you'd totally have your "own time". (Be prepared to receive things last-minute, and have to turn them around quickly. However, this can be facilitated by doing passes - tables first, then in-text citations, etc.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:46 PM on August 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm guessing you're a fast typist. Maybe transcription work? This article has some tips and resources.
posted by areaperson at 6:48 PM on August 20, 2016

Response by poster: 1. On the coding, I'm not confident that I could do it professionally. A topic for another question is how I can secure a mentor or otherwise improve my skills.

2. Yes, bullatony: You are correct. My brain said $1130 is net income. I will check the SS numbers again and make sure I know what exactly I need to earn. If I could earn $1130/month gross, right now, that would be a big help.

3. I am eligible for ticket to work. About two years ago, I tried to take advantage of it. I was feeling a bit better, but it wasn't really helpful. I ended up with an overworked state case worker who had me visit some links on resume writing. It didn't really help. Then my health declined. I plan to revisit the ticket to work again see if I could be more proactive.

Thanks for suggestions. Keep them coming.
posted by dork enlightenment at 9:31 PM on August 20, 2016

1. Free Code Camp, maybe?
posted by aniola at 10:47 PM on August 20, 2016

Google rater jobs (through Leapforce, Appen Butler Hill, and others) should allow you to make that amount monthly, and I believe the hours are flexible, too.
posted by Francolin at 8:37 AM on August 21, 2016

This web site posts openings: Honey, I'm home for work!. (Found on the subreddit Work Online. )

There are a number of "virtual employment agencies" that facilitate individuals hiring other individuals-- Upwork.

In addition, the bizarre world of the Mechanical Turk, micro-tasks (piecework for pennies.) The mTurk subreddit provides resources to understand the processes and the requestors.

Good luck-- it's a dystopian world.
posted by ohshenandoah at 9:44 AM on August 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

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