Full time work or stay on disability

I was wondering if anyone else out there has this dilemma. Ideally I’d like to wok full time and have the good feeling of paying my own way in life. But right now I live on disability and live in low income housing.If I go to work full time I won’t have the security of a small amount of money coming in each month and having the security of having a small apartment. I have an interview coming up for a job as a peer support specialist. If I get it it would be awesome in the sense that I would be working and paying my own way in life without having to depend on government checks to survive. But if I get this job and then later lose it I’d be without an income and a place to live. Any advice?.

Can you work part time and keep your disability? This would give you a chance to test the waters so to speak.


Ya I work part time now but it’s not a very fulfilling job as it’s at a TJ Maxx store here in San Diego. Helping people with sever mental illness would be much more satisfying to me.I’ve been at this store for about 5 years now and the pay isn’t good and I don’t feel like I’m growing mentally or learning anything new. Whereas if I worked as a peer support specialist I would get a great deal of satisfaction working with and giving great support to those in our boat. Thanks for your ideas though mjseu!

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I meant to say thanks for your ideas TomCat!

Are you on SSDI or SSI?

I get both but since I’m working part time my SSI is active but I don’t get any because like I said I have income form the part time job.

If they indicate they want to hire you for the peer support job you probably need to consider ending the other job. You also need to ask questions to those giving you the peer support job about your dilemma on SSI, and SSDI and your apartment. One good thing about the peer support program is that the employees also have a mental illness in many cases and since so many of us are on disability I imagine they have better ways of arranging things so you can deal with SSDI, and SSI and keep your apartment or perhaps move to a better one than your average employer because they have a better understanding of what you are going through. I hope you get the job and help others like us because there’s nothing like the perspective of someone who has actually been there. Good luck.

Thanks so much Blizzard for your thoughtful input! Ya I hope I get the job too. Another factor is that the stress of a full time job. I’m not sure I’m up for that but like you said if I have an open dialog with my employer maybe they would understand.

Well, you can stay on disability and just work part-time. I’ve gone off of disability twice and tried to make it on my own with a full time job but it didn’t work out so I got back on disability. So it doesn’t hurt for you to try a full time job because, unless they changed the rules, you can always get back on it if the full time job doesn’t work out.

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You can try the ticket to work program and easily get put back on disability if you need to plus keep your Medicare for 8 years.

I am ending my SSDI soon, thankfully my GF and Roommate have both told me that if I lose the job, they wil support me until I get my SSDI back. plus I own my home s that’s not an issue…

I know SDI gives u a 6-8 month period where if u quit ur job u don’t have to go through the whole application process again

Peer support is usually part-time.

Would consider local cost of living in this decision. Do you have insomnnia or any thought broadcasting happening (disruptive coworkers who start to be symptomatic near you)? Can be impossible to work set schedule as sleep meds are just not easily available on time or enough of dose for a lot of people? Can usually work part-time if you are on SSDI. Would never earn more than $700 until you plan to return to work full-time as it will make your medicare $700 a month…SSI has different rules and you need to discuss it with case manager to make sure it won’t affect medicaid eligibility.

You know, my local employment situation just got so bad with sex harassments/hostile workplace due to stigma or discrimination, was so easy to get ruined and no unemployment offered, it was relief to be on ‘unemployment SSDI pay’. Just is no sufficient work here any more and city of 500k. I just meet more and more screwed up people due to way churches handle people here and illegal stuff tolerated, was better to get online work I could do on own schedule and away from the office after some coworkers are crazy. Also no swarms of customers trying to mess up a bad staffing situation in life/death job. Social media marketing/blog/layout is nice low stress job comparably.

You may find peer coordinator to be interesting. My local county clinic does not thrill me after bluntly, they started hiring workers who would almost harm someone. Has been a couple people on this board screwed by case managers in different parts of country and thrown out of Section 8 in a day, without standard 10 days evictions. Started meeting employees who would lie to me and contradict themselves immediately when it was life/death/freedom situation for the patients at the clinic and it did not matter. Employee was too busy trying to do this head shrinking trick to show someone they are not welcome to work at this mental care provider by lying to you a few times and see if you catch immediate contradictions in information. Is bad sign…need to just quit quietly. Peer support here has to do group and memorize a TON of irrelevant conversation from someone in group to do extensive notes and really do nothing to help or do therapy sometimes to improve coping or functioning. Also have to hang out with the petty criminals and addicts in day program …

What do you mean Medicare will be 700 a month ? I was wanting to go back to work one day myself. How does Medicare change? I thought you get to keep the same insurance when you go back to work

Got the job! Yes! I’'m so excited! I do have to do some more research on the effects on my low income rent though. Thanks for all your comments and positive input!

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congrats! not sure if it was mentioned, but the trial work period starts when you make the income threshold, I think it’s $1100 per month for 2016. you may already know this since you worked part-time. I just received notification from ssa that they are ceasing my ssdi. i make about $2200 a month and have been at it since May of last year. best of luck at your job!

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Congratulation, JeffSimpson11. You found the job, now it’s time to learn how to keep the job.

Don’t cancel the disability checks yet, until the end of your probationary period, IMO.

Way to go on working full time! I worry about the stress but I guess we all have to worry about that.
But it seems that those of us diagnosed with sz especially have to keep the stress under wraps. Rock on!

If it’s Social Security in the US you’re on like me, I know for a fact you can work up to 9 months and earn as much as you want and it doesn’t count against you unless you make like 700 some dollars. After that you get like 3 years where a month is taken away if you earn any money at all. If you go over 1000 or so dollars in a month, you don’t get paid that month then, after the 9 month trial work period. Then this whole system resets every 5 years I think. So it’s not like they just cut you off instantly. I would ask someone who works in the field though, so you can get better specifics than I can give you, especially if you live in a different country.

Great advice! Thanks!