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First thing first. Lupus sucks. Sorry about your SIS OP.

2. "She receives $660/month in SS disability now- obviously impossible to live on. I make up the difference." If SIS collects SSI disability because she cannot work -- she cannot work. If she can work, then working AND collecting SSI disability might get your SIS in big trouble and your SIS may lose her SSI. However, and that is a big, H, your best bet is to contact the SSA and read this http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10061.pdf

rsrvoir said:   Honestly for the time commitment and income goal, the only viable solution that I see is for you all is manufactured spend. If any of you in the situation can get approved for even a 2.5k limit on a 5% rewards card, you could run through your line twice a week, eight times a month. Assuming a 1.2% loss, you'd have a 3.8% net profit (not including time/gas to run to the stores, banks, etc.). 2500 * 2 * 4 = 20,000 * 3.8% = 760 $/mo. Also this would not be income but rebate on purchases, and thus should not jeopardize any of the benefits she is receiving.

Beyond that I would try to lower costs by reaching out to charities for help with food, clothing, shelter, etc. Maybe even look for a multi-room living situation where she could either cheaply rent a room from others or rent a room out to someone else in a similar condition. If you screen well to find a good roommate, the human interaction could maybe even add some enjoyment to her life.


I really think this option should be considered as it is not income but rebate and thus should not interfere with her disability income...

Could you set up her PC so she can get on it for more than couple hours a day? By this I mean, force black backgrounds on everything, low brightness, etc so it's not blinding her. If you got the knack for it there's certainly the possibility of using eInk devices as a second monitor, too. The stay-at-home PC jobs have relatively low pay, so if that's the way you want her to go it's gonna be critical to spend some money up front so she has a (relatively) comfortable working environment.

Sorry to hear your story OP. The cost of living in US for a low to medium earner is going up each day, which makes things more difficult for your family. But, you are doing the right thing - helping your sister and mother. Many people might tell you to move on with your own life, but, helping your family is always the right thing to do. Your heart is in the right place.

Here is my 2 cents:
1) will your sister and mother be able to baby-sit kids for your neighbors? I am not sure about all the details about this, but I'm thinking that they can probably do that on a cash basis (they don't have to report the entire earnings), which might still qualify them for medicaid benefits.
2)If she can cook well, maybe try to get into an agreement with the local grocery store to buy home-cooked items from her (meals or bakery), which she can take to the store at night or if they are nice, they might even pick up from her house.
3) Most working couples usually find it difficult to cook at their house and would love if someone cooks for them (for lack of time). I personally know an old woman, who cooks for her neighbors. Your sister can do the cooking at her house and the neighbors can pick it up from her house.

If done on a small scale, she can probably do these on a cash only basis, which might not attract the attention of Uncle Sam. Hope it helps.

I think your best and probably only bet is to focus on cutting her expenses. There have been 100 good ideas here that keep getting shot down. Not wanting to give up hope is one thing but you are going to have to face reality.

What does she pay for rent now?
She has to move to a rural town where rent can be less than 200 (or you could buy the house for $15 to $20K etc).

Looking at her situation nothing really seems like it would work. Sorry for sounding negative, but that is the truth. Now, on the other hand you need to consider other members of your family, mainly teens or teenagers that can preferably drive. The thing is that teens often work for minimum wage and/or need money for college etc. Well if you paired a teen up with your sister to do eBay it really is an easy way to bring in money. Garage sales are gold mines. If the teen worked every Saturday for 5 hours, searching for stuff, then lets say another 5 hours for packing and shipping that would be 10 hours a week. You could guarantee them a pay check more then working part time at minimum wage. Then she does the selling and decides what he/she should look for. The problem is knowledge of things to sell, knowledge is power. Antiques are something I don't know but wish I did. But everyone often knows something well. But as long as knowledge continues the money will also. For example the old Maglites with 7D batteries are selling on eBay around 300. Things like that the more you know the more you make. Education is key. But making a thousand a month is not hard if she works at it and pays the teen even $300.00 month. I know this main sound ridiculous but sorry it is all I have to offer, I am an Ebayer.

DamnoIT said:   I am sorry to hear of your situation, I would try to find a craft or something unique that she could manufacture and create a site to sell it from. Inform people that the maker has some health matters and that their purchases help he live independent and the best she can. Find a niche where people don't mind spending cash on, pet items, crafts for the home, candles? Stuff like that that appeals to the affluent and makes them feel good knowing their purchase is helping another. Craigslist might help to get a start, or it might get you deadbeats - hard to say with your local market. If she can make something that people like and want it will also be rewarding to her knowing that something she does is going to be used and cared about. That is my best crack at this one. I wish you well and luck finding the right thing.

A couple types of crafts that sell well are medical prosthetics and high-end halloween masks. I know of one really good example of this. The drawback of sharing this site is that they specialize in a very personal type of prosthetic (adults only, if that gets the message across), but look at the price tags! http://www.reelmagik.com/REELMAGIK/Home_Page.html This has got to be a money maker!

lovethedeal said:   One more thing I thought of. My father has a dental practice. He is an old timer, with tons of files. With the conversation to digital plus old patient records, he has taken to paying my 13 year old daughter to work in the summer and shred files all day. Yes they could pay a shredding company, but my daughter works cheaper. Its a lot of files. I wouldn't go to one of the dental conglomerates, but perhaps a long standing private practice, medical or dental, might need this. They could maybe just drop them off at the house or she could have someone delver to her??

Maybe making prosthetic teeth?

Or as a last resort, maybe you could make more money from home than you currently make. (I really do hate to suggest that.) On the discussion I started yesterday titled, "Big Money Jobs" about two-thirds of the replies say to go into computer science. Maybe there's an online course to learn from. Maybe you could develop software or write programs from home.

imsparty said:   First thing first. Lupus sucks. Sorry about your SIS OP.

2. "She receives $660/month in SS disability now- obviously impossible to live on. I make up the difference." If SIS collects SSI disability because she cannot work -- she cannot work. If she can work, then working AND collecting SSI disability might get your SIS in big trouble and your SIS may lose her SSI. However, and that is a big, H, your best bet is to contact the SSA and read this http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10061.pdf


1. I don't think it's lupus.
2. I think you mean "SSDI" which stands for social security disability income. SSDI is different than SSI and has different rules. (For example, you don't have to have a disability to get SSI.)
3. You CAN work and get SSDI legally. This discussion explains: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1257457/

I agree that <$700 a month isn't a reasonable amount of money to live on, especially if you are disabled.

MoneyOCD said:   Mickie3 said:   KeyBored said:   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!

The downside to that is the walking of the dogs during the day time. How bout sitting cats instead? You could buy a new litter box and filler each time if you charge that rate (25$ is going rate around here and supplies would cost 5$ or less) and that would insure no diseases were passed from one pet to the next. Cats need little attention and are good company and would provide cheap entertainment, as well.


+1 on cat sitting, that is very easy job if she can get enough clients. Good reputation for that business will go a long way, and she may feel very good not only about earning money but also about being able to provide care - that will make her feel less needy herself. You can help her to advertise at the begining then she can take it on her own.


If she decided to do the cat-sitter thing, free listing on Yelp would be the best way I can think of as was 1st place I checked after we bought a 2nd home in a different state and needed to find someone to care for our cats when we were traveling. A kennel for a dog was easy to find, a cat-sitter, not so much. Also, we pay more per cat than per dog for their care, and have found that to be the norm for both places we "live."

OP, good luck and wish sister the best.

My cousin had a stroke in her late 40's and she dog sits. Midwest area - she charges $12/day. Some of her customers pay her more to sit in their house while they are gone and look after everything.

My mother had Lupus and died about a year and a half ago at 63. The disease is brutal. It attacks all parts of the body. Her mental faculties just kept getting worse. She had several mini-strokes and eventually had a major brain bleed and died.

With that, Most of the suggestions are completely unrealistic. She will not be able to learn a new skill and anything requiring a modicum of walking, driving ect. just won't happen.

Could you tell us what you do for a living? It seems many of the suggestions are still beyond the scope of your sister's capabilities. Perhaps we should suggest ways for you to earn from other sources of income.

jigsaw1975 said:   What does she pay for rent now?
She has to move to a rural town where rent can be less than 200 (or you could buy the house for $15 to $20K etc).



I second this. OP, if your sis doesn't interact with anybody, can she live elsewhere? Not only is rent cheaper in rural areas, but there are several foreign countries where you can get higher cquality nursing care for less money.

lovethedeal said:   My mother had Lupus and died about a year and a half ago at 63. The disease is brutal. It attacks all parts of the body. Her mental faculties just kept getting worse. She had several mini-strokes and eventually had a major brain bleed and died.

With that, Most of the suggestions are completely unrealistic. She will not be able to learn a new skill and anything requiring a modicum of walking, driving ect. just won't happen.

Reluctantly, I have to agree with the bolded, based on what OP has shared with us, is likely true. It's still heartwarming to see all the creativity and caring expressed in this thread. Sadly, some problems don't have what one would consider a good or just solution.

I'm not advocating OP just give up and put his sister or mother in a home. OTOH, I'm sure neither his sister nor his mother wants to see OP go bankrupt. Despite this not meeting OP's criteria, it's time to approach the financial/ quality of life issues in a different way. This includes reaching out to advocacy organizations that specialize in disability or health issues. It's a rough road, but I think that will be more productive than trying to pursue what seem to be unrealistic expectations.

OP, Please read this carefully.
Here is an example of what one country offers: Malaysia, My Second Home
http://www.mm2h.gov.my/

I am sure there are other countries that offer similar programs. Her money will stretch 2-3 times more overseas. UNLESS her disability income is disqualified if she lives overseas.

You have not answered my Question earlier in the forum. What does she pay rent now?

As a person with disability (Cerebral Palsy), I work part time and am able to collect SSDI and other benefits. You should go down with your sister to Social Security office, or better yet, meet with an benefit advocate at a nonprofit group and see if she can enroll in Workability program. These type of programs are usually held in community colleges where they will train disable people and help them find a job after. I personally had no success at Workability because they couldn't really help me my a job and working at WalMart wasn't an option for me. I'm well educated and went to a 4 year school and pretty much got a job through my connection on my own. I work part time due to my disability.

SSA won't dock your sister if she can work. There is a something called Earn Income with SSA. I forget the figure with SSI because I haven't gotten SSI in a long time, but basically every dollar that she makes after a threshold, they will take out 50 cents from her SSI. I don't know the exact figures, but it's around the same lines that I've explained.

I think, your sister needs to be more socially active then trying to make a buck. You really want your sister to be active as possible because that what matters the most. It will help her to fight and achieve more.

That being said, I have enough work credits on my own to collect SSDI and benefits, such as Medi/Medi and work part time and earn an living. No one helps me with my bills and the last time I checked my fico, it was 700+. I live on my own with staffs that help me throughout the day. I moved out from my parents during my last semester and that was over 10 years ago.

If you didn't know me, you would think that I'm just a drooling cripple <laugh>.

Check with SSA and check with different programs for people with disabilities and see if they can help your sister at finding a job, or job training. She can still work without loosing her benefits.

toobsbot said:   As a person with disability (Cerebral Palsy), I work part time and am able to collect SSDI and other benefits. You should go down with your sister to Social Security office, or better yet, meet with an benefit advocate at a nonprofit group and see if she can enroll in Workability program. These type of programs are usually held in community colleges where they will train disable people and help them find a job after. I personally had no success at Workability because they couldn't really help me my a job and working at WalMart wasn't an option for me. I'm well educated and went to a 4 year school and pretty much got a job through my connection on my own. I work part time due to my disability.

SSA won't dock your sister if she can work. There is a something called Earn Income with SSA. I forget the figure with SSI because I haven't gotten SSI in a long time, but basically every dollar that she makes after a threshold, they will take out 50 cents from her SSI. I don't know the exact figures, but it's around the same lines that I've explained.

I think, your sister needs to be more socially active then trying to make a buck. You really want your sister to be active as possible because that what matters the most. It will help her to fight and achieve more.

That being said, I have enough work credits on my own to collect SSDI and benefits, such as Medi/Medi and work part time and earn an living. No one helps me with my bills and the last time I checked my fico, it was 700+. I live on my own with staffs that help me throughout the day. I moved out from my parents during my last semester and that was over 10 years ago.

If you didn't know me, you would think that I'm just a drooling cripple <laugh>.

Check with SSA and check with different programs for people with disabilities and see if they can help your sister at finding a job, or job training. She can still work without loosing her benefits.


2 thumbs up. Way up (in memory of Ebert <and siskel>

Nah, I just was making a point to OP that his sister can get a legit job. Making crafts is like selling pencils in front of a supermarket <laugh>.

Best of luck to OP. PM me if you need help at finding resources.

Has she tried adjusting her diet? Its worth a shot. Here's the difference it made in this doctor's life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc

@ Op

Any chance of you increasing your income in some way? Then having her done one of the many jobs posted above? You take care of the 'books' for her, and indicate its making more than it really is... If working a job is going to help her morale,etc than maybe this is something to think of? Just throwing it out there..

LegalLurker said:   See if your state has a "vocational rehabilitation agency" (eg, here's NY's: http://www.acces.nysed.gov/vr/apply_for_services/apply.htm). They will be in the best position to offer both services and, potentially, any training possible, to transition into meaningful employment.

This is a great suggestion. The vocational rehabilitation agency in her state should be able to help her get evaluations, training, and many other services needed to be able to work.
here is a list of all of them
http://askjan.org/cgi-win/typequery.exe?902

In my state there is a waiting list to get services but it is worth the wait.

toobsbot said:   As a person with disability (Cerebral Palsy), I work part time and am able to collect SSDI and other benefits. You should go down with your sister to Social Security office, or better yet, meet with an benefit advocate at a nonprofit group and see if she can enroll in Workability program. These type of programs are usually held in community colleges where they will train disable people and help them find a job after. I personally had no success at Workability because they couldn't really help me my a job and working at WalMart wasn't an option for me. I'm well educated and went to a 4 year school and pretty much got a job through my connection on my own. I work part time due to my disability.

SSA won't dock your sister if she can work. There is a something called Earn Income with SSA. I forget the figure with SSI because I haven't gotten SSI in a long time, but basically every dollar that she makes after a threshold, they will take out 50 cents from her SSI. I don't know the exact figures, but it's around the same lines that I've explained.

I think, your sister needs to be more socially active then trying to make a buck. You really want your sister to be active as possible because that what matters the most. It will help her to fight and achieve more.

That being said, I have enough work credits on my own to collect SSDI and benefits, such as Medi/Medi and work part time and earn an living. No one helps me with my bills and the last time I checked my fico, it was 700+. I live on my own with staffs that help me throughout the day. I moved out from my parents during my last semester and that was over 10 years ago.

If you didn't know me, you would think that I'm just a drooling cripple <laugh>.

Check with SSA and check with different programs for people with disabilities and see if they can help your sister at finding a job, or job training. She can still work without loosing her benefits.


You sir, are one truly awesome badass! This is one of my favorite posts so far this year.

Has anyone suggested FW credit tactics? Loading up on manufactured spend might be kind of hard for her though if she can barely make it to the store.

TheDealMaker said:   how about phone psychic hotline? or even phone sex hotline ?
With Skype ?

TravelerMSY said:   Has anyone suggested FW credit tactics? Loading up on manufactured spend might be kind of hard for her though if she can barely make it to the store.

Here is what I recommended earlier :

Honestly for the time commitment and income goal, the only viable solution that I see is for you all is manufactured spend. If any of you in the situation can get approved for even a 2.5k limit on a 5% rewards card, you could run through your line twice a week, eight times a month. Assuming a 1.2% loss, you'd have a 3.8% net profit (not including time/gas to run to the stores, banks, etc.). 2500 * 2 * 4 = 20,000 * 3.8% = 760 $/mo. Also this would not be income but rebate on purchases, and thus should not jeopardize any of the benefits she is receiving.

Have you looked into public housing and food stamp assistance in her area? I also believe that SSI is reduced by some amount if you have other income but dont know the exact limitations. Rent in public housing is income-based, the less you make the less you pay per month.

I wonder if your sis can be a motivational speaker from home. You may want to research on that - http://swansonspeaks.com/family-stuff/motivational-speaker-speaks-out-for-stay-at-home-moms/

toobsbot said:   I just was making a point to OP that his sister can get a legit job.

Making crafts is like selling pencils in front of a supermarket <laugh>.



Making crafts is not like selling matchsticks on a corner. (Not that there is anything wrong with that, or any other ethical work effort, if it's the best solution for a person's circumstances.)

Being a craft-maker/craftsperson is an extremely legitimate job. It has a much longer history in human society than "motivational speaker" or "blogger" or "app-o-rama-er".

I have a relative who makes beautiful wreaths that sell at $150+.

As another example, Nantucket woven baskets sell for many, many thousands of dollars (for sometimes teeny-tiny baskets) and their best craftsmen and craftswomen (of the last few centuries) are known by name at many art galleries and auction houses.

Making arts-and-crafts is, at least in some people's moral reckoning, a more decent and honorable way to earn a living than being a phone-sex worker is, although that esteemed occupation has been brought up here about 5 times.

---
The OP never said that his sister has lupus.

The sister doesn't want to socialize with strangers or leave the house during the day, she can't be in daylight or lighted rooms for very long, and cognitively she can't take classes to learn something totally new to her, or communicate for a living. He's not going to ship her to a foreign country.

The OP stopped visiting this thread after the first day, but I hope he might come back and let us know if he ended up finding something manageable for his sister to involve herself with, and how she is doing.

She can write a book about all of this after she eventually overcomes adversity, Tim Ferris style. She really does seem to want/need a 4 hour workweek.

intractabe said:   
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.


Just doing the math - 3 hours per day, we'll say 5 days a week, 4 weeks month = 60 hours. She needs a little less than $12/hr after tax.
Alternatively she needs a job that doesn't report to the IRS.

Is your sister smart? Did she ever have a trade or profession? The first thing that comes to mind is working for a site like JustAnswer or similar. Generally these sites require some proof of prior profession or eduction. In some categories significant income is possible. Last I heard, no 10-99 from a few of these sites.

Being part of a domestic call center would probably cover the income needs. Around here, you're looking at $13-$15/hr and a 10-99. No income requirements, although some of those jobs require an on-site orientation...

I like the pet-sitting idea. Low-requirement pets (cats) might be OK? Pet boarding is expensive - we pay $40/day and would prefer if our pet stayed in a "home".

Here's a good guide for work-from-home options:
http://www.clarkhoward.com/topics/workathome_help/


intractabe said:   
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.


This is another good idea and a particularly FW one. The rub is finding "what" to sell - which changes constantly. I think there are quite a few people on FW that make money on buying discounted productions (see the deals forum) and simply reselling. It's relatively easy to determine what an item will sell for on eBay as long as it's common. She'd need to get some experience under her belt with the "tools" (paypal, eBay, deal finding sites) - but easy to cover some income here.

I'd start by:
1) Finding items that she can buy online that ship for free or near-free that have discounts attached... Or that have significant manufacturer rebates attached. The income is the difference between eBay sales price and the value of the discount/rebate. In the case of manufacturer discounts, she needs to be well organized and read the fine print.
2) Look at FW "free after rebate" posts - often software or other things that can be free. Downside is that some need to be picked up, so you'd need to sort that out.

Many of these things can simply be shipped forward in the original box, so the "work" involved is simply re-addressing the stock shipping. Sometimes they can essentially be dropped-shipped to a consumer as a gift, if you sell before ordering (assuming no UPC is required on a rebate).

There are lots of niche sales - find something obscure and low priced... A friend found a sale on boat life-jackets via a major online seller. They were discounted 75-80% so he simply listed them on eBay (never had one in hand) and ordered them to end consumers as they sold on eBay.

Doing online sales - get her familiar with paypal and get her a good label printer...

lorymills1 said:   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.

What was wrong with this idea? I took a class on this type of opportunity because I was seriously thinking of doing it myself.

Hello,

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

I know a Dr. who helped my dad recover from Leukemia (blood cancer).
Simply put, you can speak with him over the phone and he will tell you if there is anything he can do to help, no charge.

You may have to wait a few weeks to get an appointment for a phone consult but what could it hurt?
He helped me after I went to about 8 doctors near me and none of them could figure it out. I did not have a life threatening problem but all they could suggest was steroids and/or surgery that "I could try". No thanks.

If you are interested, PM me and I will be happy to give you his information.

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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