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Feb 01

Make money if you have a disability

Reading Time: 14 mins

If you’re disabled there are lots of ways to make money on the side in easy and unexpected ways, even if you’re not very mobile.

Here’s a list of just some of the many ways people with disabilities can make extra money, without loads of hassle.

Many of them are not only handy for bringing in the cash, they’re also fun to do!


How to make money if you’re not mobile

If you’re stuck and home and unable to leave the house then you might be tempted to think there are no money-making opportunities for you/ But you’d be wrong!

There are loads of ways you can make some money from home – from online surveys to setting up a blog.

Here are some great money makers especially for you:


Make money with online surveys

make money with online surveysOnline surveys are great ways to make some extra cash, with very little effort required. Simply sign up to a safe, secure online survey site and you’ll be paid cash for filling out their surveys.

They don’t require a special commitment – you can fill them in during the ads of your favourite TV shows or whenever you have a spare half an hour.

Online surveys can make you an additional £50 a month.

At MoneyMagpie we like Nielsen Computer Panel UK. It’s great: all you have to do is download their app onto your computer and you’re automatically entered into prize draws. Nielsen researches internet users’ behaviour and randomly selects users for monthly prize draws, as well as larger yearly draws. As long as you’re comfortable with the setup, Nielsen doesn’t require any active participation on your part.
Check out the following of top survey sites:

See our article on MoneyMagpie-approved survey sites and start making money today.

Some sites let you swap your earned points for cash or great vouchers such as Amazon gift cards.

Just remember, never pay to sign up to an online survey site. 


Make easy money writing in to magazines

Earn money writing to magainesMagazines are often looking for true life stories from ordinary people – you can make a lot of money from telling yours.

Very few people actually write in to magazines with their true life stories, so there’s plenty of opportunity to contact features teams and sell yours.

You can make up to around £2,000 depending on how sensational or interesting the story is – in fact one MoneyMagpie reader earned £2,200 for her life story.

Stories can vary and you can talk about anything – magazines look for stories of tragedy, hope, inspiration or humour.

How to sell your story to magazines

The process is simple. Phone up or email a journalist (or contact the features team via email) and briefly outline the story you’re interested in selling. You can get your money in as little as two weeks!

Take a Break magazine offers up to £2,000 for true stories, and other magazines and newspapers offer between £200 and £2,000 depending on how good the story is.
You can make even more by including a relevant photo, which helps make your story more interesting!

If you have a life story you’d like to sell, target the magazines you know your story will be relevant to.

For example, a story of dramatic weight loss would be ideal for a magazine like Woman’s Weekly, but may not be great for Total Film!

Got an interesting story to tell? Find out more here. 

A friend of MoneyMagpie, journalist Mel Fallowfield, is always looking for true-life stories for various magazines and newspapers. She can often get a few thousand if yours is a really good story. Contact her on mel.fallowfield@btinternet.com and she’ll let you know how much you could get for your tale.

Keep an eye out for magazine competitions too! You could win big prizes for doing very little.

Some magazines even reward cash for tips, recipes and star letters too. Check your favourites and see what they offer.


Have a sharp eye for detail? Make money reading…

Make money proofreadingIf you can spot grammatical errors from a mile off then proofreading is the perfect career for you.

To be a proofreader you must have an excellent standard of English and strong attention to detail, so you can spot all the errors in documents and manuscripts.

There are no set entry requirements for becoming a proofreader, but relevant experience is a bonus (and if you’ve got a degree in English, that won’t hurt either!). Proofreaders spot mistakes in texts and make changes.

Proof reading pays surprisingly well, with the Society for Editors and Proofreaders reporting that the minimum hourly rate for experienced and qualified proofreaders is £25.

For those with less experience, don’t fret. A talented newbie proofreader can still earn up to £10 per hour. Not bad for a flexible job.

Another great thing about freelance proofreading is that you usually work from home (so no hefty travel fees) and work flexible hours. You can plan your working day around deadlines and how long the manuscripts will take.

Once you’ve finished your work, you’re done for the day. So, if you’re a fast and diligent worker, you could be earning a decent wage that fits around your social life.

Take a look at our useful article on becoming a freelance writer, too!


Make a name for yourself online and make extra cash – or freebies!

Make money bloggingDo you have something you want to share with the world?

Have you got opinions people need to hear?

Consider setting up a blog.

Blogs can be about absolutely anything. They can be personal, like a kind of diary blog, or you could simply write about a subject you find interesting.

If you have something unique to say, write it. It’s very therapeutic and you can make good money on the side from blogging if it becomes successful.

Here are some useful tips on how to make your blog more popular:

Firstly, write about something you’re passionate about. It’s important you find it fun to do or you won’t be motivated, and people will find it less interesting to read. You have to ooze enthusiasm.

Publish your blog on a popular site like WordPress. The free version comes with lots of tutorials to help you learn more about running your website.

Remember to focus on promoting your blog in various ways. Word of mouth, telling your friends and family, and using social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) are great ways to get your content noticed!

Finally, you could use your blog to sell things or advertise your own services.

See our article on how to make money blogging.


Make £15-£25 an hour as a Virtual Assistant

Make money as a virtual assistantVirtual assistant positions are a great opportunity to make money if you’re skilled on the computer but not very mobile.

To be a virtual assistant you must be computer literate and confident with major software packages. You can adapt your workstation with things like speech-to-text software if you have limited mobility in your hands, too.

There’s high demand for virtual assistants from small businesses who can’t afford full-time admin support. Some larger companies also employ virtual assistants to work from home: much secretarial work can be completely remote.

As a virtual assistant you’ll answer calls in a professional manner, reply to emails, and manage diary bookings. You’ll have to be proactive and work to meet deadlines, and you may be tested to see if you’re performing to a high standard.

You can find work as a virtual assistant by signing up to a decent free agency, and can earn up to £150 per day. We recommend VOT, which promotes and offers your services to companies all over the world.

How exciting would it be to work with clients across the globe and liaise with people from different countries?

Read more about becoming a virtual assistant here.


Make money calling companies

Make money as a mystery shopperIf you’re not mobile, there are loads of phone-based mystery shopper jobs. You call a given company and ask a list of questions. All you have to do is report their response.

Mystery shoppers are also needed in the online world. Your role will be to contact and send specific enquiries to websites. You’ll monitor the speed and contact of the response. Again, you’ll probably provide your feedback through a straightforward and simple questionnaire.

You’ll then be paid when you’ve reported your findings. Once you’ve done your bit, you will sometimes be paid within 24 hours of your assignment.

Pay rates differ for different agencies and companies. You can expect to earn £5-£25 per task plus expenses. However, for phone calling mystery shopper jobs the pay is much lower – £1-£5 for phone work.

This obviously won’t pay the bills, but it’s a fun way to earn a bit of extra cash. If you’re interested in taking part in mystery shopping, see our article for the best and safest mystery shopper agencies.

Never pay to join a mystery shopping agency. You are being paid for your service.


Make money chatting to people

Make money phoning people If you have a friendly, customer-focused attitude and excellent, professional telephone manner, working as a phone agent could be the ideal job for you.

There’s loads of home based call centre work for individuals who aren’t mobile. All you need is a computer, the internet and a phone, and your job is to simply answer customer service calls and deliver excellent service.

Customer service is increasingly branching out. Clients are contacting companies and making their queries via email, social media and online chats, so there’s more technical support work for those who aren’t very mobile.

Additionally, social media is all around us and dominating the internet. Many companies recruit individuals to be responsible for the social media of their company. It’s now crucial for promoting products or companies.

Keep an eye out for virtual social media roles on job sites as you can gain some excellent transferable skills.

Find out how you can make money from answering the phone here.


How to make money if you’re semi mobile

If you’re okay getting around, but can only put so much strain on yourself, try one of these ways to make extra cash…


Make money sitting around

Make money as a home sitterBelieve it or not, good money can be made from house sitting.

House sitters look after empty properties while the owner is away on holiday or for business.

The responsibilities of house sitters can include looking after pets, keeping the house clean and tidy and other very basic duties.

Overall, house sitters are not required to do very much at all and receive good money for their services. They’re mainly there as a deterrent for burglars and to keep the house ticking over while the owners are away.

There are also opportunities to make money for short-term work, and a number of agencies can help you find short-term house sits. You can even house sit for a day! People need you to wait in for deliveries or contractors.

How to become a house sitter

For regular and sometimes immediate house-sitting work, register with a reputable agency such as Trusted House Sitters and Mrs Hunt’s Staffing.

You’ll be looking after someone’s home, so you’ll need to provide references to the agency and be interviewed.

A checklist shows your specific house sitting duties, and you can always contact the agency if you need help or are unsure about anything.

Home sitting is perfect for anyone looking to make some extra money on the side. The rates for long-term house sitting are around £30 per day, and often a food allowance too. However, if you’re taking on extra responsibilities such as looking after pets, you can charge extra.

Plus, if you have other home-based work to get on with, you can do that while you’re house sitting (as long as you don’t have dogs to walk, etc.) Otherwise, you can just enjoy being paid to read and watch TV!

House sitters say there’s a lot of short-term work available over the summer holidays, so that would be a good time to apply.

Read our article about becoming a house sitter for more advice.

Make money tasting food and watching adverts

Make money taking part in focus groups and researchFocus groups are a particularly fun and interesting way to make money on the side.

Register with companies such as Take Part in Research and you can earn up to £250 for sharing your opinion.

Focus groups vary from filling out paid surveys for a couple of weeks to going in and reviewing and assessing various products and even TV ads before their release!

It’s an exciting opportunity to make some good cash and meet people from all walks of life. It’s great for individuals who love testing products and talking to people. You’ll also get to share your thoughts on innovative products and services.

Sometimes, you’ll hit the jackpot and test foods. To find out more about how you can become a grub tester, read our article on getting paid to test food…yes, even chocolate.

If you aren’t able to get to a focus group then you can take part in online focus groups or even do an interview over the phone.


Make money with a punchy pun

Make money writing puns for greeting cardsFeeling creative?

Write messages for greeting cards for a bit of extra cash!

Although this is a very competitive market, a lot of money can be made from writing witty lines, and it’s an exciting industry to work in. A punchy pun could earn you up to £150!

The most popular cards are funny, likeable and witty puns. Who doesn’t like a clever joke that puts a smile on our faces?

However, other greeting card types include sentimental messages and traditional cards that use rhyming poetry.

The first step to getting your message published is research galore. Decide which type of message you’d like to write in greeting cards, and find out who publishes these types of messages.

It’s worth visiting a high street card shop such as Clintons. Spend time viewing the cards and note the relevant publishers that you want to contact. You can find the publisher on the back of each card.

Keep an eye out for niche shops that sell greeting cards, e.g. book stores, garden centres, craft shops and gift shops.

Also, visit greeting card trade fairs where you can gain publisher contacts and do some networking. You could even pitch to them and show them your example greeting card messages.

Golden Rules:

  • NEVER submit your work without reading the submission guidelines. Find them on the publisher’s website.
  • If you submit work and haven’t followed these guidelines, your work won’t get read.
  • If you can’t find their guidelines, write to the publisher to request them.
  • When you receive a response regarding your greeting card message, keep track of your contacts.

It may take a while to get going, but many people make good careers from greeting card writing, and it’s a very creative, interesting industry to work in. Check out the Greeting Card Association site for freelance work.

If you’re interested in making money on the side from fun greeting card writing see our more detailed article.


Make money selling your old stuff

Make money selling your old dvdsHave you got piles of used books, DVDs, games, CDs, and clothes cluttering up your room?

Sell them and make extra cash!

As they say: tidy house, tidy mind and you’ll be a good bit richer.

Sell on sites like Ziffit, Amazon and eBay. On Ziffit you can simply type in the barcode and find out how much cash you can get.

Visit our Clear Your Clutter section to find out more about getting paid for your old stuff. 


Make money as a piano tuner

Disabled people can be piano tuners to make extra moneyPiano tuning is a great way to make extra money.

It’s a very creative role and the job is best suited to individuals with a passion for music, pianos and the arts.

Piano tuners do well with wealthy clients who want their pianos to be tuned regularly. If you enjoy developing positive relationships with clients and going into people’s homes this could be the right job for you.

Also, recording studios and theatre shows (particularly in the West End) require professional piano tuners.

Piano tuners charge at least £60 per tuning, regardless of how long the tuning takes, so it can be a good return for your money!


Make money if you’re mobile but have other disabilities

If mobility isn’t a problem but you have other health issues which may hinder your ability to find employment, here are some great money makers to try.


Earn £60 an hour dog walking

Mobile disabled people can make money dog walkingIf you’re mobile and enjoy being out and about in the fresh air, dog walking could be for you.

Dog walking is an enjoyable, lively job that pays surprisingly well. You can make up to £60 an hour if you’re brave enough to walk four dogs at the same time. Some people can take even more, so it can be a lucrative business idea.

If you want a slightly easier dog walking experience, you can earn up to £15 an hour walking one furry friend at a time. This is the perfect job for animal lovers.

You can go about dog walking by joining an agency such as Tailster for immediate work. Tailster is free to join and advertises you to hundreds of people in need of a dog walker.

Of course, the advantage of working with an agency is that they do the hard work of getting the jobs in. The disadvantage is that they take a cut of the money.

As an alternative, register with Petpals as a dog walking company and apply for jobs on there. You can also simply put an ad out in your local area – on noticeboards, through people’s doors, on local websites – advertising your services. Quite often you can also find new clients while you’re out walking the dogs. Make sure you take a stack of business cards while you’re out.

For more details on how you can get work as a dog walker see our article.

Make money busking

Disabled people can make money buskingIf you feel you have the confidence and the talent, why not try busking and entertain the crowds?

Loads of people busk to make some extra money on the side. Remember, too, that it’s not all about music.

You can express yourself and entertain others in many ways. As long as people find it entertaining you could make some good money.

Comedy acts and other unique performances are desirable, simply because they’re so different. You could be a magician, a clown or even a living statue!

Make sure busking is allowed where you plan to do it. To be on the safe side check with your local council. There can be strict, unhappy fines if you busk in the wrong places!

Some buskers report that busking in Central London earns them around £150 a day. That’s instant cash in your pocket! You must still declare this income to HMRC.

One bagpiper said he takes in £250 weekly from busking part-time at Cornmarket Street, a central and popular tourist area in Oxford.

Try to busk in tourist areas and at good times. It wouldn’t be wise to busk at 9am on a Monday morning, or during evening rush hour when everyone’s trying to get home! Instead, try busking on weekends and public holidays.

Finally, the London Underground offers brilliant opportunities for buskers, as around 2 million people use the Tube every day. You have to pay a fee of £20 for a year’s licence. If you’re serious about busking and want to make some good money from it, it’s well worth doing.

The London Underground Busking Scheme is also great as it sends out a regular newsletter to their buskers, including job ads and notices of job opportunities. This could be anything like a company requiring a performer for an event or exhibition.

Go ahead and get busking! See our detailed article for all you need to know about busking. 


Top 5 tips for disabled people looking to find work

  • top tips for disabled people looking for workLook for the Disability Confident symbol, which can be found on job descriptions online. It indicates that the employer is committed to employing disabled people.
  • If you’re a young disabled person looking for work after school look at the apprenticeship scheme run by the Government.
  • Go to your local job centre and find your disability employment advisor. They will assist you in your job search and tell you about relevant courses you can do to improve your experience and skills. They can also teach you interview skills.
  • The Work and Health Programme is another fantastic government-funded scheme that helps disabled people find employment and stay in work through free courses.
  • Access to Work offers grants for current workers and those about to enter employment. They can pay for specialised equipment and even offer help travelling to and from work. Both employees and self-employed people with disabilities can apply to the scheme.

Are you disabled and looking for work? Tell us about yourself in the comments below. Let’s see if we can help you in your quest to make money!

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2 years ago

Hello! I am on disability income and I want to do something useful for myself! I have an anxiety disorder and it affects my daily life! But I want to live again and have more income to be able to contribute in the house! I want to do better for myself and feel normal agin and want people to work with me and under me. I want to live life again

Richard Davis
Richard Davis
3 years ago

Hi, I’m an artist and have been unable to get my art out there since I have seizures that have reoccured. I am unable to get outside of the home since I am unable to drive now, I want to make a site that I can sell my paintings to raise money for Epilepsy Research in CA and also for myself. My work can be seen on FB at Richard Davis Fine Art Murals. I’ve been donating epilepsy paintings to the Epilepsy research for the last 6 years and the last seizure I had made me lose the ability to… Read more »

3 years ago

Hi. I worked for a high street bank for 23 years until I was medically retired. I have a young family still and struggling financially. I hate the fact I can’t add to the household finances. I was quite interested in the proof reading. I’ve tried the surveys & have not made any money as yet. It really affects my self esteem and mental health which is something I’ve never suffered from before. I’d love to feel useful again.

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