older lady at computerStart a Business and Earn a Second Income

Could you use an additional $9,000 per year? A person who receives Social Security disability benefits has shown that they cannot work gainfully. However, working their own business, especially a home-based business can allow the flexibility a person with a disability could never achieve when employed by someone else. After all, what employer would allow an employee to rest frequently throughout the day, not show up for work at all or work only one day a week due to not feeling well?


Most people would benefit from receiving even a couple hundred more dollars a month as well as an opportunity to be productive. The Social Security Administration allows people receiving Social Security disability benefits to earn up to $770 in a month before the person sees a reduction in or loses their benefits. This does not apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the monthly figure may change at the discretion of the SSA. There are numerous rules attached to this and we covered a lot of them, plus advised you to consult with your Social Security disability attorney prior to working, in an article a couple months ago (http://cochrannation.com/index.php/blog-social-security-disability/818-supplement-your-benefits-start-a-business). We will not rehash that article here, but instead focus on help for starting your small business.

A very good asset to start with is the Disabled Businesspersons Association (DBA). (http://www.worksupport.com/resources/viewContent.cfm/295) Since their founding in 1983 they have helped over 12,000 people. Although their assistance is free, they request that 20% of the workforce your new company hires have disabilities. According to their website, the DBA provides the following resources:

  • Personal Business Advisor
  • Business Plan and Financial Assistance Packaging
  • Market and Product Research
  • Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations
  • Presentation and Proposal Documentation
  • National Consultant, Vendor and Business Network
  • Educational Seminars, Workshops and Conferences
  • Technology and Equipment Research and Evaluation.

More information on the Disabled Businesspersons Association can be found on their website or you can call 619-594-8805.

Another great asset is the government’s Small Business Administration. They have a wealth of information on their website, www.sba.gov. Before starting your business check out the page for small business development centers (http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc). Many of these locations are incubators designed to help businesses get off the ground. Some offer very affordable rents as well as communal office equipment along with lots of advice specific to your local area. Also check out http://www.sba.gov/content/people-with-disabilities for a list of loan programs. The SBA also has a wizard at https://business.usa.gov/start-a-business#wizard-step-id-1 to help you find more resources. Grants may be searched for at http://www.sba.gov/loans-and-grants.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is more limited in its reach in that they handle inquiries on a case by case basis only. According to its website, JAN provides individualized technical assistance, consulting, and mentoring services to individuals with disabilities, family members, and service providers. This organization may be able to assist you in locating funding to start your business with. Look for their website at http://askjan.org.

Wisdom and advice can be gained by receiving counseling through the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) (www.score.org). Although these executives can be very helpful, it is wise to research any advice you are given prior to acting upon what you have heard.

One last website we’ll mention here is the Department of Labor’s page for entrepreneurship for those with disabilities. It can be found at http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/misc/entrepre.htm. This page provides links to additional resources that may be helpful.

The Cochran Firm wishes you luck as you embark on a new enterprise. If you have thoughts on this matter or would like to tell us about your small business, drop us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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About the Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers
Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice, Bankruptcy Attorney in Atlanta or Social Security Disability Lawyer.The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or fill out the form on this page. “Working for You.” Article by Benjamin A. Irwin, Esq.

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