Paying the Bills During COVID-19: Tips for People with Disabilities by Jillian Day

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[Editor’s note: Jillian Day created to help people all across the web make their sites accessible to individuals with disabilities. She was inspired to start when a close family member, who happens to have a visual impairment, had trouble finding a dinner recipe online that he could read easily. When she’s not chasing after her little ones, Jillian enjoys being outside, whether she’s fishing, hiking, or geocaching with her family.

This is Jillian’s second article for Whispers of Hope. If you’d like to read the first one, click here: 6-tips-to-help-you-find-the-right-accessible-home-by-jillian-day-of-508assist-org/]

The pandemic has had a disastrous impact on job security. During the initial outbreak, global working hours dropped 14%, the equivalent of 400 million full-time jobs! Many people who lost work are still struggling to earn an income and pay the bills. Job loss has been even harder on people who already have a hard time securing work, such as those with disabilities.

Whispers of Hope knows how challenging it can be for people with disabilities to find secure, fulfilling, and high-paying work. But as the pandemic continues, you need to find a way to make ends meet. Here are some tips for finding work and earning an income during this difficult time.

Expand Your Skill Set

The world has recovered many of the jobs that were lost during the first few months of the pandemic, but work is still hard to find. Consider expanding your skillset to open up new job opportunities. Online schools are a great option whether you have a disability that limits your mobility, you prefer to learn at your own pace, or you’re concerned about the spread of the coronavirus in a classroom setting. At an online school, you can earn a degree in a wide variety of practical fields including information technology, nursing, education, or business management!

Try Freelance Work

If you need money right now, freelance work could be your answer. Working from home is an ideal setup for people with disabilities as it offers plenty of freedom and flexibility to work however you want. Getting started as a freelancer is easier than ever these days thanks to online job boards and social networking sites. All you have to do is choose a niche, produce some sample products, and convince a few clients that you know what you’re doing.

Many first-time freelancers think they have to start at the bottom, but don’t let your entry-level status stop you from going after the work and income that you want. Be confident, sell your skills, and ask for the pay you deserve!

Prioritize Essential Bills

When money is tight, earning income isn’t the only way to make sure your bills are paid on time. As CNBC explains, it’s important to review your household budget and prioritize essential expenses. If you have a disability, for example, you may need to set aside extra money for grocery delivery services, transportation, or home care expenses right now. Of course, rent, mortgage payments, and utility bills should also be at the top of your priority list.

Protect Your Credit

While you look for work, you may have to use your available credit to make ends meet. Although this is not the time to fret over small changes in your credit score, ensure that your credit remains in good standing so you always have access to favorable loans and savings benefits. Try to only use your credit card for essential purchases and make sure you can always make your minimum payments. And while cash advances may be tempting, they should be avoided at all costs.

Access Services and Support

Many people with disabilities, particularly those with underlying health conditions that increase their risk of COVID-19 complications, are facing higher everyday costs during the pandemic. People in high-risk groups have had to shell out extra money for things like private home care and delivery services for groceries and medication. Fortunately, people with disabilities can access government services, nonprofit support, accessible information, and other helpful resources all over the world. Karen can help build your confidence, deal with red tape, and all in all better cope with your circumstances, so consider reaching out for a coaching session.

People with disabilities can have a hard time earning an income during the best of times. With a global pandemic closing down businesses and erasing jobs, people with disabilities are starting to get really worried about making ends meet. This is the time to shift your job-hunting strategy and try something new. Pursue higher education, get into freelancing, and take steps to protect your personal finances in the meantime. Finally, seek support from those who understand your needs. Contact Karen today.


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