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I've been a FW member for 9 years; I created a new account for this post for privacy reasons. I am making this post here because I have not been able to think of a realistic solution and I feel that the collective brain power and creativity that exists on FWF may spawn an idea that I have failed to think of.

Goal: A source of income, earned working from home, greater than $500/month; ideally, greater than $700/month working ~3 hours per day. She receives medicare and medicaid- so there are limits to the amount of income she can report without losing her much needed medical benefits.

She receives $660/month in SS disability now- obviously impossible to live on. I make up the difference. Her needs are greater now and I cannot make up the additional difference. My own financial situation has deteriorated and I am now supporting her from my savings- which is not sustainable. I also provide monthly income for my elderly mother who is also disabled; as her monthly social security is not sufficient. Over the years, I've provided over $250,000 in support for them along with my grandmother. At over 50 now myself, my savings are pitiful and dwindling each month. I'm becoming worried that I will run out of money one day. My FICO was 790+ for 25 years and is now 620 due to working overseas and not being aware of some oversights I made. I bring this up because any manufactured spend or AOR for cash bonuses are not possible.


Background and limitations: My sister is 53 and disabled. She is in constant pain. Her prognosis is, baring a medical breakthrough, that she will not be getting better. Further, the disease has ravaged her body. She is rarely able to leave the house. When she does, it's at night and exhausting just to make a trip to the grocery store 2x/month. She has terrible credit due to previous medical bills and lack of income. She has had 14 surgeries and, due to light sensitivity from the disease, she stays in the dark with sunglasses on- she can only use a computer for a couple hours per day because of this. We do not, and cannot, live in the same area. So, although I can teach/train her in person, she will be on her own to execute the plan.

Selling on eBay is an option. But I am at a loss for what she could sell given the limited time she could be online, coupled with the physical demands of acquiring, packaging, etc etc of the items being sold.

My sister's life is, frankly, not a life. I downplay the money I give her, but she feels as though she is a burden. Because of this, her prognosis, and her quality of life, she's losing her will to fight on. Besides the financial aspects, I believe earning an income would help her self esteem and sense of worth.

Sorry this post is so long- thanks for reading.

Ideas?...

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Just be sure she has the energy for anything you choose to start - any business (even a work at home business) can be ex... (more)

lorymills1 (Apr. 25, 2013 @ 4:59a) |

Hello,

I'm not sure of what condition your sister has but I have a slightly different suggestion.

I know a Dr. who helped ... (more)

herzog (May. 06, 2013 @ 11:49p) |

Earning money online can be a good idea for her. There are data entry jobs which pay a good amount. If she can manage th... (more)

Jerry91 (May. 07, 2013 @ 2:14a) |

A summary of the OP's sister's situation:

the impact on her memory and ability to articulate herself has been impacted by the disease. She could never blog.
[So she could never tutor children, or be a remote-working secretary, probably even be a customer service rep, or start a blog, or start a discussion forum, or create a complicated web-store to sell products on, or write essays for students, or write professional-sounding book reviews.]

She is in constant pain. The disease has ravaged her body. She is rarely able to leave the house. When she does, it's at night and exhausting just to make a trip to the grocery store 2x/month.
[So she can't have a flea market stall on the weekend, go around rummage sales shopping for things to sell on eBay, kennel or walk dogs, pack up and mail bulky/heavy items]

due to light sensitivity from the disease, she stays in the dark with sunglasses on- she can only use a computer for a couple hours per day because of this.
[So she couldn't babysit children (in a dark house, with sunglasses on) or keep company with other disabled people at her house or theirs.]

We do not, and cannot, live in the same area.
[So the OP can't move her in with him.]

she will be on her own to execute the plan.

One thing is for sure- she will not show her face.

No marketable skills. She has been sick for over 20 years.

She'd kill herself before she'd go into a nursing home. I'd go bankrupt before I would even suggest a nursing home. I would respectfully ask that the focus of this thread be on ideas for work from home opportunities and not off topic ideas about places to put her.

At over 50 now myself, my savings are pitiful and dwindling each month. I'm becoming worried that I will run out of money one day. My FICO is now 620
[So the OP cannot buy her a building with several apartments in it for rental income, etc.]

Is there a support group for people with your sister's disability? What do those people do to supplement their income?

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and commend your efforts to help your family.

I would think eBay would be very difficult if she can only go out at night - though I suppose she could ship lots of things using the Post Office's pick up service.

My first thought is to have a look at Fiverr - where people do creative and useful things for $5. Have her browse that and see if that stirs any thoughts.

Can she blog about the disease? If she does, she could meet other people in her situation and form a support network. If the blog becomes popular enough she can run ads and make a little bit of money too.

I know 2 people who do medical transcriptions from home and that is how they make their living. I'm not sure how they got into the business or what someone does to get started but it is an idea.

My wife is a professional photographer. She takes pictures and photo shops them and then she makes her money by selling prints. Also she charges a modest session fee. Although she personally photo shops her pictures there is a market for professional photo shoppers. The photographer sends the raw images to someone and then they photo shop them and then send them back. Probably could make around $10/hr doing this, although like anything else there would be start up costs. And you'd have to learn photo shop and be somewhat good at it. Then farm out your services.

What kind of education does she have BTW? Any useful skills?

See if you can put your mother and sister in a nursing home and have Medicaid pay for it if they have no assets. There is a 5 year look back penalty with Medicaid. Talk to a nursing home, they should have an administrator there that is familiar with situations such as yours and can offer advice.

Thanks.

civ2k1: from reading the online support groups, many struggle to get by. A working spouse, family, etc. Her husband left after several years of the illness- he didn't want to deal with having a wife who was sick all the time and had little hope of getting better. fyi: there is no money/income to go after from him, so that is a dead end in case anyone is wondering.

mactv: the impact on her memory and ability to articulate herself has been impacted by the disease. She could never blog.
i had never heard of Fiverr. I just looked. I don't know if she has any marketable skill. One thing is for sure- she will not show her face. She is 2 years old than me, but, from her illness, she looks 70. She was in hospital for a week this month and everyone referred to me as her son. It's heartbreaking because it makes her feel terrible. She really does look old enough to be my mom. It's shocking what this has done to her.

The medical or other kind of transcription idea is one I had also. The problem is there is training/certification which means school- something she is not up to. Further, it's competitive and a 53 year old disabled woman who can only work a few hours per day isn't very competitive.

My thinking was that it's going to have to be something less structured. Perhaps something others have come up with that's easy to do in their spare time to supplement their income. Of course, as evidenced by my post, I haven't come up with such an idea.

No marketable skills. She worked jobs like bank teller and then new account rep at a bank before she got sick. She has been sick for over 20 years. For many years, they didn't diagnose her. I even got her to the MAYO clinic and they failed to diagnose her. Finally it was Mass General who diagnosed her (this was back when she was still well enough to travel).

She'd kill herself before she'd go into a nursing home. I'm not looking to sweep my mother and sister under the rug. There's a wide chasm between private pay nursing homes and the horrors of the type of nursing homes the poor can get into. People with dementia screaming bloody murder day and night, poorly trained and often uncaring staff (There are many caring workers, but also many who are not. It takes a special breed to do that job and maintain compassion). My grandmother was in one- They dropped her transferring her to her bed. They broke her neck and she died 4 weeks later.

I'd go bankrupt before I would even suggest a nursing home to my 53 year old sister...

I am really sorry to hear that you and your family are in such tough situation.

I don't have any specific advice.

I would like to praise you on your willpower to help your family, and wish you all the best in finding ways to help yourself and your family.

My thoughts are with you and with your family.

Would you mind sharing more information about her diagnosis? Maybe a keyword will help bring more knowledgable people to this thread.

I don't have any specifics, but just brainstorming here and hopefully someone can build off of this.
Can she answer the phone in a customer service or answering service fashion. Maybe she could do this from home.
Can she do any crafts? Make jewelry (bracelets, earrings, etc.)?
I occasionally hear of organizations that employ people who are disabled to do simple tasks, but I don't know where to begin.
I hope this helps.

intractabe said:   My sister is 53 and disabled. She is in constant pain. Her prognosis is, baring a medical breakthrough, that she will not be getting better. Further, the disease has ravaged her body. She is rarely able to leave the house. When she does, it's at night and exhausting just to make a trip to the grocery store 2x/month. She has terrible credit due to previous medical bills and lack of income. She has had 14 surgeries and, due to light sensitivity from the disease, she stays in the dark with sunglasses on- she can only use a computer for a couple hours per day because of this. We do not, and cannot, live in the same area. So, although I can teach/train her in person, she will be on her own to execute the plan.

she's your sister. so you're very emotional about her predicament.

here's an objective perspective: her situation is hopeless. put her in a state-subsidized institution, where at least her pain can be dealt with humanely. then move on with your life, and try to avoid getting sucked into further heroism.

If you're not up for a nursing home, could she move in with you? That could reduce expenses substantially.

Oh wow, what a difficult situation. I'm so sorry that you and your sister are dealing with this.

If I'm understanding you correctly, the limits are:
- she can't really leave the house
- she needs flexible, part-time work
- it sounds like she's not very articulate (from what you said about blogging)?
- she doesn't have any hot, marketable skills, but isn't going to be able to do any kind of traditional classes/training due to her current limitations.

I don't know if there is a good solution, but I can help brainstorm too... here are some ideas, see if any might work for her...

1. I first thought of at-home customer care. There's a company (AlpineAccess.com) that I've seen mentioned over on the Clark Howard site. They hire people to do customer service phone work from home. The nice thing is, you can work part-time (although I belive training is full-time for at least the first week, maybe longer). There's a woman who posts on the forums that has worked for them for several years, and vouched that it's legitimate, and no problems getting paid. From what she's said - you set your own hours, but you have to commit to work those hours (you can't change your hours every week.) She's also said that the pay starts low, but as you gain experience, you get raises.

2. Online market research/surveys? Not great pay, not that dependable, but it would definitely be something where she could control her time (i.e. skips days if needed because she's not feeling well.)

3. Sign up to be a member of an "online jury simulation"? I'm seeing recommendations for OnlineVerdict.com and eJury.com - I don't have any personal experience with these, and obviously it wouldn't be steady work. But, maybe something to look into?

4. Have you looked at Amazon's Mechanical Turk at all? I haven't spent a lot of time researching it, so I'm sure someone else can pipe in with more information. But, again, it might be something to look into. She'd be able to choose her tasks and work as much/little as she wants.

Clark's list of "legitimate work from home" companies is here: http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/employment-military/work-home-guide/nFZH/

Good luck to you and your sister, and again, I'm sorry to hear about her situation.

I would respectfully ask that the focus of this thread be on ideas for work from home opportunities and not off topic ideas about places to put her. She's 53, not 93. Further, she knows me very well- I don't give up on anything. if i were to give up on her, she'd lose what little hope she has- which is about all that keeps her going. she'd kill herself within a month in a nursing home.

also, there is nothing 'heroic' about taking care of your family. a guy who works 2 jobs to provide for his kids is not heroic- he's just doing what he needs to do. His responsibility/obligation. I think most people do the same.

So, I know the input is well intended- but it's not gonna happen, so can we please just focus on work ideas that would demand somewhere around 15 hours per week.

Thanks.

There are a lot of no-skill gigs you can do on Fiverr, including posting pre-written reviews for people on Amazon eBooks (not saying she SHOULD do this -- just pointing out people DO this).

If she has brain fog but the DESIRE to do something, she might want to checkout online-sweepstakes.com

Aside from spending a few hours/day entering sweepstakes and possibly pulling in prizes she can resell on eBay and gifs cards (and some people make a steady $500-1000/month doing nothing but this), the forums there have many disabled folks who share info on money-making opportunities.

I didn't read your whole post when I PMed earlier.

1. I would like to know more about her condition. I know someone with a very similar sounding health problem who is also disabled who went to MAYO.

2. As an extreme solution, you could research other state's disability benefits. I know of one where you can pay $35 a month rent for a nice one bedroom apartment (to live alone), get disability payments, and get food stamps (I'm not sure about a care assistant). I PMed you about this state (and can do so again if you desire), but will not give it out in a forum because that could tempt people to game the system. There are countries that do this as well. I'm assuming you're not a dual citizen so that probably wouldn't help. Again, I know this is extreme.

Edit: The purpose of #1 is because new/rare medical conditions are difficult to deal with. They are generally not doctor's priorities for one thing, and if a doctor is aware of more than one person who has something, they tend to be more helpful in my experience. Plus it's nice to know you're not alone, when that's true.

Keeping this on topic...

If she has ANY skills, she can put up a few ads on Fiverr.com. Even if it is simply to read and review ebooks for people on Amazon(I've paid people from Fiverr for honest reviews a few times for books I've worked on).

If she has any kind of crafting skills(knitting, painting, etc.) she can sell stuff on Etsy.com.

There are a ton of customer service/live answering service jobs she can do from home by simply having an office number forward to her home phone.

Also, if she sets up an LLC(more likely you will set one up for her), she can have substantially more income than the $700/month that would cause her to lose some of her benefits because she will be able to deduct a ton of her normal living expenses as legitimate business expenses.

Lastly, don't just try one thing. Start with whichever one sounds most appealing to her, get good at it, then add on another activity. Reading and reviewing books all day is boring, but a few good books per week is fun. Knitting all day will kill your hands, but a couple of scarfs per week while watching tv helps pay the bills.

http://www.apply.westathome.com/index.html

This is a legit work from home job.

Gauss44 said:   I didn't read your whole post when I PMed earlier.

1. I would like to know more about her condition. I know someone with a very similar sounding health problem who is also disabled who went to MAYO.

2. As an extreme solution, you could research other state's disability benefits. I know of one where you can pay $35 a month rent for a nice one bedroom apartment (to live alone), get disability payments, and get food stamps (I'm not sure about a care assistant). I PMed you about this state (and can do so again if you desire), but will not give it out in a forum because that could tempt people to game the system. There are countries that do this as well. I'm assuming you're not a dual citizen so that probably wouldn't help. Again, I know this is extreme.


NJ

Sorry to hear of your situation. Not all transcription requires you to be certified. While I was back in school I worked for a market research company transcribing DVDs. I would get paid, on average $100 per hour of transcribed video, which would take me about 4 to 5 hours of time to do. It is tedious and would require some memory, as you are basically typng as fast as you can until you cannot keep up and then hitting the back 10sec button on the DVD remote. I could never do it full time, but even if it took someone twice the time as me, they would end up making about $10 an hour. Of course there is no benefits and you are a 1099'd contractor. I kind of lucked into e job from a friend, who is a teacher who did it and could vouch for me and they still wanted my résumé. Still it might be a thought.

Best of luck.

One other thing, and I have no idea if this is an option for any number of reasons, is working for an answering service for a certain number of hours each week. I would imagine it could be done from home. It also doesn't seem like it would entail much more that documenting who called at what time and what they needed. Just a thought.

Did you deduct all of the money you used to care for her? It seems like all of that assistance should at least qualify you for a tax break, which you can use to replenish your savings.

mbzoltan said:   side from spending a few hours/day entering sweepstakes and possibly pulling in prizes she can resell on eBay and gifs cards (and some people make a steady $500-1000/month doing nothing but this), the forums there have many disabled folks who share info on money-making opportunities.

I really doubt that you can do that by selling gift card. To create a gift card business

1. You need capital
2. You need at least 8% cushion for all the eBay and paypal fee, so she need to find a reliable way to get CHEAP card
3. There are RISKs invoke in something like that, cards can get lost in mail, and dishonest buyer... etc

So all in all it's NOT easy especially for someone disabled and probably don't have a lot of cash to start with.
so please don't suggest something you have not done that make a bad situation even worse if she lost money

I used to sell $100K+ per year on eBay so I KNOW what I am talking about.

how about phone psychic hotline? or even phone sex hotline? No insult, but it's a definitely an option. They are questionable choices because psychic hotline is considered to be borderline scam and phone sex hotline is just bad. But if it's about survival, they are both legal options for people who have to work at home and only for limited hours. If people think that phone sex operators are college girls, think again.

I'm just throwing these ideas out there. I hope the brain trust on FW can help you out on this one. It's a tough situation you're in, sorry that you have to go through this, but your taking care of your family shows that you were raised right.

1. Get deals off fatwallet and resell on eBay. Perhaps she can get some good deals at night when there is less traffic to the site.

2. Find out what she can buy in bulk and resell for a higher amount. For example, flower food (the powder) comes in a huge box, so sell in lots of 10's on eBay.

3. Create a youtube site for whatever interests her, or maybe cat videos, and try some passive revenue from google adsense.

4. Advertise to write essays and book reports for college or high school students.

5. Buy a scanner and advertise to upload photos onto a CD/DVD or electronic photo frame. Or perhaps some desktop publishing or word processing work?

6. Look into becoming a notary (probably have to take a test), so she can provide notary services from home.

7. See what kind of services she can provide for people going on vacation. Pet sitting, mail pickup, feeding fish, etc.

8. Write ebooks on Amazon.

9. Contact building maintenance and restaurants to arrange for bottle pickup for deposits.

10. Go to flea markets and used bookstores to see what can be resold. Same for craigslist, and look for any barter opportunities.

11. Try to get her story out to everyone, including when you're doing anything above, so people understand where she's coming, and will be more willing to work with her. You'll need to have a strong and coherent story that people can understand. Everyone roots for an underdog. Also set up a donation site.

Sounds like she's in a terrible spot. Does she have any friends, or can she do any volunteer work, to boost her self-esteem? Work at a suicide prevention hotline (no I'm not being sarcastic). Or get her a pair of parakeets as low maintenance pets and something to keep her occupied.

Some additional ideas:

12. Learn HTML skills and offer to build basic websites.

13. Start a fetish sex website (like furries or cosplay), or a swingers site, to attract web traffic.

red for alt id.

rain74 said:   

11. Try to get her story out to everyone, including when you're doing anything above, so people understand where she's coming, and will be more willing to work with her. You'll need to have a strong and coherent story that people can understand. Everyone roots for an underdog. Also set up a donation site.

Sounds like she's in a terrible spot. Does she have any friends, or can she do any volunteer work, to boost her self-esteem? Work at a suicide prevention hotline (no I'm not being sarcastic). Or get her a pair of parakeets as low maintenance pets and something to keep her occupied.


Depending on what the condition is, maybe raising awareness about it could help. Some people into health, science, and disability rights might be interested. Plus it must really be terrible to have a practically unknown condition. Who knows, maybe there are a lot of people with this problem who all think they are alone.

I like the idea of a donation site, as well as, most of the other suggestions from rain74.

Most of the work at home stuff is around minimum wage or much lower if you can't concentrate on work. With no skills and part time hours each day, she may suffer and struggle trying to work while barely beating SS disability income. Another thing is that this type of income is not stable. She will be asking you for money again when these gigs stop offering work. And I think the work at home jobs are more difficult than non-retail brick and mortar jobs due to intense competition. If she has little hope already, I don't think she is going to do well with these gigs with lots of rejections from clients/employers, getting fired for no reason, cut in hours, or cut in work. All of these things happen in the real world, but they happen more in the work at home gigs. I know you'd like to think this going to work out, but I really think you need to look at plan B. Sorry.

why don't your mom+sister live with the grandmother? That would save living expenses, and they could look after each other, as they're family (even if not blood related). Or get a multi-unit dwelling and have them manage it.

1. CrowdFunding websites like: GiveForward, GoFundMe, Kiva, Watsi, Causes, IndieGogo, YouCaring
2. Ask for help - financial or otherwise (take care of chores - would alleviate some burden) from local CHURCH/temple, clubs which aid social causes.

PS: I would highly discourage immoral job suggestions. Might as well send her to nursing home in that case. Just my 2 cents.

TheDealMaker said:   how about phone psychic hotline? or even phone sex hotline? No insult, but it's a definitely an option. They are questionable choices because psychic hotline is considered to be borderline scam and phone sex hotline is just bad. But if it's about survival, they are both legal options for people who have to work at home and only for limited hours. If people think that phone sex operators are college girls, think again.
Beat me to it. Phone sex seemed like the right fit - high margin, no required training/licensing, and your customers aren't too picky if you repeat yourself.

RedCelicaGT said:   red for alt id.

wow. That was such an important aspect of this thread to you that it nullified all else. Again, wow.

Let me sketch it out for you:

A google of my regular id will identify me in less than a minute, which means identifying my sister, after knowing who i am, would take another minute, maybe 2. As crazy as it is, GIVING money to your disabled sister (because without my help she would be homeless) actually counts as income, disqualifying her from receiving medical treatment thru medicare.

So... am I going to risk the off chance that some tool decides to spend 2 minutes to id my sister and initiate stripping her of her critical medical coverage (MUCH stranger things have happened), just to satisfy the likes of RedCelicaGT; or.......... is an alt id a prudent and justifiable precaution(?) (a rhetorical question from my vantage point)

BTW, true story: I was involved in some business litigation over a decade ago. The opposing side introduced message board posts of mine (taken out of context) as evidence. Same ID as my normal FW ID. Thru discovery, they had my email address and searched using the ID part of it; finding my message board posts.

Thanks for the many good ideas that have been mentioned thus far. Some, although seemingly rather obvious, are things I should have thought of, but didn't. Others, like fiverr, I had never even heard of before.

It is heartwarming when strangers take the time to help. Several of you were exceedingly generous with your time; with posts that clearly took quite some time to produce.

Thank you.

If you have good credit, purchase a four plex or duplex apartment. She lives in one, rents out the other.
Keeps the income as "manager".

Where I live in New Mexico, providing subcare for clients with developmental disabilities is non taxable income. We receive 500 dollars for having an individual with disabilities live in our home two days a month. He is able to go out on his own, shop, basically take care of himself. Smalll reminders to take medication and such, but actually he is a joy to have in our home. Again, this is non-taxable so no matter how much she makes from this it can't count against her benefits. If you do look into this, look for clients who are prepping for "independent living"...otherwise it may be too taxing for her to do.
People prepping for independent living generally function at about the age of 15/16. I believe this would serve two purposes, it would help your sister feel useful and provide a much needed community service.

I'll try to think of some more.

God Bless you and your family.

I don't know much about it.... but how about those companies that build websites and then offer drop shipping?
She would only would be on the computer a few hours per day and would not have to be concerned with buying or storing inventory.
Plus adding affiliate links on the website would also bring in income.

Just be sure she has the energy for anything you choose to start - any business (even a work at home business) can be exhausting.
Sounds like you already have to much worry and responsibility on YOUR plate and it would be horrible for you if you end up taking on this business FOR her because it ends up being too much for her. What you are suggesting may be motivating for a healthy person, but may be just too overwhelming and cause additional unhealthy stress for someone in poor health.

Would tutoring be an option? I don't know if her English, math, or other skills would be up to it, or f she'd be able to handle strangers coming to her place, but a good tutor can get $20 an hour freelance, or if she works for a company, $10 an hour.

I really like the idea of buying a fourplex.

lovethedeal said:   I really like the idea of buying a fourplex.

Doubt that will happen as FICO is too low.

Can she watch or sit for children? Maybe a 1/2 day after or before kindergarden classes?
Does she like animals? How about a dog sitting/watching service? Does she have room to watch a pet or two for someone going on vacation for a week?
Good luck on your search.

I was thinking the same thing. Can she watch a pet? Maybe small dog or dogs? That's a big thing in my area. Doggie day-cares and personal dog care. They charge about $30 a day and $30 for an overnight. It's for people who don't want to kennel their dogs and want that personal care when they are not home. Plus it would give her some companionship. Good luck!

Skipping 75 Messages...
Earning money online can be a good idea for her. There are data entry jobs which pay a good amount. If she can manage that, then it would be great for her. Writing content for websites or blogs can also be a nice way to earn money.



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