Disability pension

I just got on disability pension at the age 34.
I have really mixed emotions. I did apply for it myself, but now that it is granted for me, I feel strange.

I am a person who likes to do things and go for them, and now I fear will I just sit at home an do nothing. I have dreams of organizing art projects, for other people with mental issues. To help others. Volunteer work, at a local homeless cat shelter for example. Stuff like that.

Are you on disability pension? How do you spend your days, is it hard to motivate yourself to do stuff? Do you have dreams of doing something while being on disability pension?


I’m still on disability in Belgium. Might be a different system. I’m applying for jobs right now and volunteer. I also study part-time and got a second degree while being on disability.

Plenty of things to do. Whatever tickles your fancy.

I’m in Finland.
First I was 15 years on temporary disability, but now I’m on permanent disability pension.

Good to hear that there is plenty of things to do. Maybe it’s up to me what I can do, and it doesn’t stop me from being active and live a full life. I want to do something art related in the future.

Thanks for the reply :slight_smile:

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I was granted a pension last year. I didn’t apply for myself, but accepted that my social worker did it on my behalf. I have tried literally about 60-100 jobs (parttime mostly) but had in the end to accept that i couldnt work.

I have the same dreams as you, i hope when summer comes i can have a sheltered jobs or do something for others. Travel, increase my social circles.

Good luck.

I recommend working. Find out what you like todo in your free time and try to find work that is similar to that.

Thank you for your replies :slight_smile:

I am planning on going through my dreams of organizing art workshop for people with mental issues.

Before disability pension, I was in rehabilitative work for a long period and did teacher’s work. I was a kids’ art teacher for example, and it was so nice. I just found working too hard for my psyche, the amount of work and responsibility was too much for me. I would love to teach art, but I am afraid that I will crumble under it. Maybe I could find some short term projects, maybe that would be better for me.

Also while working with kids, I felt bad about my diagnose. I don’t think anybody would like to have a schizophrenic to teach of their kid :frowning: so I didn’t tell about my condition to anybody.


If you like art and teaching, what about art therapy for people with mental illness? That’d be something you could volunteer doing, I’m sure.

I worked with kids for part of my career. I’ll be tutoring adults in English as a Second Language and also working with a group that takes in donated musical instruments for kids who can’t afford them. I finished my background checks but need to submit them to the lady in charge or the program. Anyhow, I’m on disability in the US. I have been for maybe seven years? It’s been a while. It’s nice to keep busy. Gives you something to look forward to each day.

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I’m 33 and on disability. I hate it. I’ve always been a hard worker. But now being on meds I barely have any energy. I just started a new AP and boy does it have me tired. I’ve played video games, painted, wrote songs, applied to school, bought a dog. There is lots to do. It definitely gets hard though. Once you get tired of doing something you need to find something to replace it right away.

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Thank you for replies.

I believe that at some point I will want to work with something, art related. I should contact my local mental health office and ask could I volunteer work for them. Maybe they can help.

It’s good to hear experiences from people on disability pension. I don’t want to get passive and depressed. I am still young and I feel I could have something to give to other people. Even though sometimes it feels like I’m 100 years old and my life is over.

when you have been working with kids, did you tell anybody about your diagnose? I have been teaching adults and kids and I always felt I had to hide parts of myself, because at least here where I live, schizophrenia is really misunderstood and stigmatizing disease. and I don’t want people to know. I also have destroyed my arms with self harm scars, so I must wear long sleeves to work, no matter what the weather is. I feel like I have to hide myself all the time and it is distressing.

I did things on SSI mainly when I was young but if I had not had family support I would have likely been twittling my thumbs like I do now. Yes it is harder when you age and aging comes on fast.

I don’t know if my check is a disability check or social security check. I’ve given some thought to tutoring people in our program in learning to read and also in taking the GED. I scored well on those tests in high school, so I have ideas that can help people take tests.

This might be a great thing. You can focus on what your really like without worrying about money.

You can paint, go in trips, join a gym, a book club or other clubs.

You can become a voice in the EU disability advocates . You can study again.

EU has manny programs for everything you can imagine and legally they cannot discriminate

You can make music, start a blog, make YouTube videos.

The way i see it’s that you shouldn’t be worried about being excluded and have stigma towards yourself BUT instead you can see it as a great oportunity to try out new things

Sorry it took me so long to reply. No, I don’t tell a soul. My medical conditions are none of their business, and mental illness is highly stigmatized. Even conditions that aren’t usually aren’t advertised (Ex: heart disease), so why should this be if it isn’t relevant to the situation?

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