There’s no doubt that a disability or chronic illness can impact your physical and mental state, not to mention your job prospects. But in today’s digital world, there are many well-paying side hustles that don’t take a toll on your body. Side hustles for disabled and chronically ill people also let you manage your time, so you can rest or go to medical appointments without missing a beat.

Side hustles for disabled and chronically ill

Before getting into some of the best side hustles for disabled and chronically ill individuals, let’s define our criteria. These are jobs that make no demands on your body, and are time flexible, so a bad health day won’t cause you to miss a work deadline. They’re also remote, so you don’t have to worry about getting to an office. And they have the potential to deliver income exceeding $20 an hour.


There are dozens of opportunities to consult on issues ranging from logistics to tech. However, one specifically seeks out people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

Rare Patient Voice seeks patients and caregivers to provide feedback on medical products, drugs, health outcomes and customer experience. The site also recruits for medical focus groups and clinical trials.

Prospective participants sign up and tell the site what condition ails you. You can also sign up if you’re a caregiver for a person with a medical condition. The site will then contact you when it has a client with needs that match your profile.

The site says its average hourly pay is $120. However, pay varies from study to study. A 5-minute background study on Alzheimers patients pays $25; A one-hour focus group for bladder cancer patients pays $100. Joining an online community for Crohn’s disease patients offers a $50 welcome gift and $60 for participating in discussions.

Online Services

If you have a particular skill in marketing, design, coding, AI, writing — or anything else — you can make good money by offering that service online. And, with a platform called Fiverr, you can not only choose what service to offer, you can set your own price and your own deadlines.

The site encourages freelancers to create a profile and offer “packaged” services. Let’s say, for example, that you design business logos. Here you’d post three packages — basic, standard and premium — saying what each costs; what’s included; and when you will deliver the designs.

A freelancer named Diamond Leopard, for example, offers minimalist business logos on Fiverr for between $60 and $190. The $60 package gives you two designs to choose from. His “standard” package costs $140 and includes three designs, source files, and a 3D rendering. The $190 premium package adds in logos for social media and stationery. He promises to deliver designs in five to seven days.

The best advice for people who want to work through Fiverr is to search through other successful freelancers in your area of expertise. (Successful freelancers will have numerous 5-star reviews.) And look how they structure and price their packages.

Like Leopard, these packages detail what services are included and how quickly you’ll deliver them. If you think you’d have trouble delivering services as quickly as your competitors, given your disability, just give yourself more time. But you may want to offer your package at a slightly lower price to compensate clients for accepting the delay.

Build a Course

Can you teach your skills to others? Whether your skill involves making products out of wood or navigating WordPress, there’s a DIY market looking for help. And you can make money teaching others this skill online.

A host of platforms, including Teachable, Thinkific and Udemy, encourage individuals to create online courses for sale. Creating the course is free. And they’ll even provide detailed instructions on how to do it. You simply plot out your curriculum; put together the course and decide what to charge.

The beauty of this side hustle for disabled and chronically ill individuals is there is no deadline. You can put together a course quickly or take your time. But, once you’ve created the course, you can earn continuing income from it with no additional work — other than, perhaps, marketing it through social media and word-of-mouth advertising.

Not comfortable marketing the course yourself? Then offer it on Udemy. Udemy takes big commissions, but handles the sales and marketing for you. (With the other sites, you pay a considerably lower commission on each sale. But, you’re on your own when it comes to finding buyers.)

Create Designs & Sell them Online

If you love to draw and have a knack for coming up with clever or catchy phrases, you can earn royalties from your creativity through a host of “print-on-demand” operations. Sites like FineArtAmerica, Society6 and RedBubble encourage artists to upload their designs and simply pick what products they should illustrate. You might, for instance, say that your futuristic drawings should be placed on coffee mugs and baseball caps. And, maybe, your landscapes should be offered as puzzles. Or you can offer all your designs on all the products they sell. It’s up to you.

Anytime a product with your design on it sells, you earn a royalty. The print-on-demand company markets the products, manufactures and mails them. You simply create the designs.

Notably, none of these print-on-demand sites asks for an exclusive right to your artwork. If you want to, you can sign up with all of them and see which site produces the best sales.


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