ways to earn money when youre too sick to work

The Easiest Way To Make Money When You’re Disabled

Do you ever stop thinking about the easiest way to make money when you're disabled or too sick to work? No doubt about it… life with a disability is challenging in more ways than one. Especially if you don't qualify for any special programs or are denied social security benefits like social security income, social security disability income, and supplemental security income from the social security administration. I've found that SSI benefits are not always easy to obtain, even when, on paper, you “should” qualify. And talking with friends who were able to obtain SSDI benefits after previously being denied four times, the income received still wasn't a lot of money or even enough to comfortably live on.

This topic is very near and dear to my heart. I spent nearly a decade unemployed while barely surviving, struck down with a complicated chronic autoimmune and neurological health crisis that forced an end to my military career. I managed to live on $974 each month by the grace of a few friends opening their homes and hearts to me. Back then, in 2008, I would have given anything to learn the easiest way to make money when you're too sick to work.

While there are disability programs out there… I know all too well that you can, in fact, lose your career for being too sick or being sick too often.

Struggle After Struggle… With No End in Sight… Needing an Income While Being Too Sick To Work

If I had a dime for each time a potential future employer told me that I wouldn't be offered the job at an interview because I was “unreliable” for not being able to schedule my seizures, weakness episodes, fainting, or stumbling, it would have been enough to pay for at least one month's worth of food for me.

It's embarrassing. Having a body failing to the point where you can no longer work… enthusiastically going through interview after interview to be told you're “overqualified” or “unreliable” when you just need enough to pay the rent.

I felt inadequate… incapable… unable… dependent… powerless…

But honestly… now I know… that is only a story I told myself because of my situation. I was a victim. And while I didn't inflict my health problems on myself, I could do something about it… I just didn't know it at the time.

Critical Thinking: The Missing Piece To Making Money When You're Disabled and Too Sick To Work

It took me making a major mindset shift associated with my healing process to break the emotional and mental self-abuse cycle.

I remember it like it was yesterday. February 2012. I was sitting in my neurologist's office, with my head tucked down, watching my Neurologist throw his head back hysterically laugh at me after I asked about using any alternative healing modality after my 13th anti-seizure medicine failed my body miserably (landed me in the ER with pancreatitis and liver failure).

He specifically told me that a natural lifestyle would kill me faster than my condition, but regardless not to expect to live to see my 30th birthday. I was 28, looking down the barrel of a short life.

Then… my boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to try a natural wellness journey, whether it ended my life or not. Now… I'm 36 with two young kids, completely healthy, and embracing a whole new perspective.

What I Wish I Would Have Known…

Just because life hands us problems doesn't mean we are helpless.

I spent 2008 through 2013 living on $974 per month from my veteran's disability. I went to college for less than half of that time, receiving the GI Bill's housing stipend just to pay my portion of the rent. When that ran out, I lived on the grace of a few friends helping me when the local and veteran homeless services decided to not qualify me for assistance.

What I wish I would have known:

You Don't need a traditional job to make money

Yes, that sounds counter-intuitive unless you're an entrepreneur. If you're anything like me, you probably heard your whole life to graduate high school, go to college, and get a good job. Well… even with my stellar resume with military experience and a college degree… employment eluded me.

10 Flexible Ways To Make Money Online Without an Employer

While there are easily thousands of ways to make money online (hundreds of thousands if you dive into specific companies to partner with), there are a few ways that will take a little effort to begin and then provide you with passive income, so you're not continually trading your time for your income.

Here are 10 of my absolute favorite ways to make additional money when you're too sick to work.

  1. Blog with ads and partnership links
  2. Paid online memberships, summits, or communities
  3. Provide Virtual Assistant services to small businesses or bloggers
  4. Run a YouTube channel, with ads
  5. Create and sell your own online courses, digital downloads, or books
  6. Freelance writing
  7. Create and sell items online (like t-shirts on Amazon or really anything on Etsy)
  8. “Drop Shipping” where you market and sell someone else's products… they do all the manufacturing and shipping… you keep the profits.
  9. Network Marketing were you build a team selling someone else's services or products and have the ability to receive continual income even after the sale is made.
  10. Take and sell stock photography

The best part about these 10 methods is you can combine some (or all) of them to create multiple streams of income… and the income isn't limited to when you're feeling good and actively working. Once the content is done, there really isn't much more to do other than schedule in marketing… and there are tools to help you do that.

Plus, you can preschedule social media and blog posts to publish, so you're not tied to a computer at certain times of the day. Just simply batch post on your good days, and allow it to run automatically even when you're unable to be there in real-time.

But keep in mind, this is only a shortlist of my personal 10 favorites. There are many more (like this list of 25). Ultimately, if you can dream it up, there is a way to figure out how to turn it into an income-producing activity.

Searching for Efficiency…

The biggest problem I had while in the throws of my Autoimmune Hell was the fact that every day was so different that scheduling anything was a challenge. I couldn't even make it to all my college classes on a regular basis.

Now that I'm healed, I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to two young boys. Consistency with my time spent working is still a challenge for me with having many different activities, appointments, family time, school time, field trips, business leaders, and clients to manage. Time is one thing I'm not always willing to negotiate.

I personally have 13 streams of income…

  1. Amazon Affiliate Program (earn commissions on Amazon products purchased through my blog links)
  2. Course sales from online courses I've created
  3. Consulting fees I charge for providing business strategy consulting and website design
  4. Healthy Lifestyle Network Marketing Organization (my biggest money maker, building a team to promote healthy lifestyles that work to help our clients live happier, healthier, and more purposeful)
  5. Various affiliated product sales where I earn commissions from the sales of products I recommend
  6. Clothes, mugs, and home art sales that I designed using Printful or Art of Where (drop ship programs)
  7. Life After Loss: Turning Grief into Hope, Strength, and Purpose book affiliate sale commissions
  8. Partnerships with other online creators for courses I've contributed to or have taken and recommend
  9. Website advertisements from multiple websites I own
  10. Website building and management services for a few other small businesses, bloggers, and podcasters
  11. Flexible business coaching services
  12. Wellness coaching services
  13. E-book sales

What I love the most about all of these is that the time commitment is minimal. I'm able to set my own schedules around my personal and family needs while still being able to contribute to living expenses.

Which one is the easiest way to make money when you're too sick to work ???

Personally… when all this started I would have laughed saying this wouldn't work because I had tried it before and it didn't work for me.

Now… I would have to say without hesitation: network marketing… especially if you grow it authentically and merge it with a blog or some sort of social media online community.

Why??? Why is network marketing the easiest way to make money when you're too sick to work ???

Network marketing is one way to produce residual income that is scalable with absolutely no income caps. It is something you can do in less than an hour a day. You can work it online, offline, or both ways. And you can decide when, where, how, what, and with whom you work… total flexibility under your complete control.

With the right mentorship from the right team, you can optimize your strengths, interests, and lifestyle to grow your business authentically and without hounding anyone with questionable copy-and-paste scripts from the 1990s.

This has continued to be a huge blessing for my family on numerous occasions. One I can't imagine life without.

Thinking about the time I was able to take with my sons makes me wonder how much easier of a time I would have had during my health crisis. It has remained steadily growing, even when my affiliate income and course sales endured slow months.

Having a Team makes a huge difference.

  • Keeps you motivated
  • Provides you with a deeper level of purpose
  • Enhances your desire for personal and leadership development
  • Inspires you to continually grow
  • Your team (and income) grow, even when you need downtime

Author: Nicole Graber

Title: Writer, Editor, Wellness Consultant, Business Strategist

Expertise: Natural Wellness, Healthy Lifestyle, Home Business Strategy, Motherhood


Nicole is a writer, healthy lifestyle consultant, and faith-based business strategist at Gracefully Abundant, with bylines on MSN and the AP newswire. As a survivor of homelessness and chronic health issues, she discovered a purpose in guiding people toward a healthier lifestyle and increased income.

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