Working And Self-employment On Disability Coaching | Thriving While Disabled

Personalized Coaching Support

Working and Self-Employment on Disability

One-on-one coaching to help you be in control of when and if you stop receiving your SSDI  or SSI benefits

woman holding head

Afraid of unexpectedly losing your benefits?

Do you:

  • Feel unsure or overwhelmed when you think about returning to work?
  • Know you can’t return to your prior field but want to earn some money?
  • wonder what  you’d do if you experience a relapse or symptom shift?
  • Feel unsure about how much you can work, but want to try?
  • Start to explore programs like Ticket to Work but get overwhelmed and give up?

it isn't easy...

You deserve your benefits and I'm here to help you manage them!

woman in wheelchair leans backwards with the chair handles against a brick wall and her rest up in the air. She is dressed in a work jacket and khacki pants

Understand how the process works. While SSI and SSDI are both administered by Social Security, their work-related rules are substantially different, and too many people confuse them. Resources  are available, but often full of jargon and acronyms  that don’t always make sense

Have a nuanced understanding of the rules. Both programs allow you to earn some money and maintain financial benefits, and allow you to continue receiving health insurance coverage  after your payments stop. Every other income-based program you are on may have different rules to manage.

Understand your emotional response. There are many places you can find the basic rules and regulations. What is rarely discussed is the emotional impact of being on benefits, and the fear that often accompanies doing anything to jeopardize this lifeline. 

I love working with Alison! She is supportive, empathetic and very compassionate. . .

In the short time that we work together, she has already confirmed that I’m on the right track with the benefits planning I had done previously. Looking forward to continued sessions with her where we can discuss how to handle finances (as a disabled entrepreneur) once the business brings in money.

Along with confirming and sharing financial benefit advice, she has been critical in helping me get out of my head. I have realized that I have to start taking small steps and stop overthinking. But you need a good mentor like Alison who can help you do that effectively. She’s very good at getting down to the essence of a thought process or issue and putting it in plain terms. That really helps! She’s also wonderful at finding and connecting you with resources and connections that can help you fulfill your goals. Highly recommended!

— Riley Gerlach, WordPress and Digital Systems Management Specialist

You're not alone

I can untangle the process and emotions around employment and disability benefits

I can untangle the process and emotions around applying for disability with you!

Let’s take some time together to understand the process

I will help you feel confident in your decision, whether it’s immediately taking a job, creating your own business, or just understanding the rules around employment on the disability program that supports you.

We will discuss the realities of working while on SSI or SSDI, including how, when, and why you need to report your income, the rules of your particular program, what can trigger benefit loss, and what additional supports you can use to help your next steps.

I know that getting on these programs is challenging, and I understand how paralyzing the fear of losing benefits can be. I also acknowledge the risks of relapse or worsening symptoms and the emotional tolls that both working and not working can take on your physical and mental health.

Two women, one white, one black, sit together at a table with a laptop in front of them. Both are smiling and focusing on the laptop's contents

Understand the rules, so you know precisely when, if, and why you may stop receiving which benefits

Two women sit talking. One is the focus of the image, the second is to the side of the camera, only visible in profile.

one-on-one support

I'll help you understand the rules and know what resources to cite

During four sessions, I will help you to:

First and foremost [Alison] reassured me that we will get through this together, I was not alone.

“I felt very much seen and heard and this allowed me to know that I was not crazy or alone in this process and that Alison was here for me. I felt she was side by side with me and helped me better understand what I was unable to with clarity and knowledge. . . She is amazingly gifted in this work. I so appreciate her gentle, understanding compassion and ability to listen from her heart. It goes a HECK OF A LONG WAY!

— S. F.

One-time payment of


Hello, I'm Alison.

I was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder in 2003, and applied for Social Security Disability Insurance in 2004.  I started  working part-time in 2005, and started my first business in 2006. 

While I have not been off of SSDI or worked full time for more than a few months at a time, I’ve learned a lot in the  process. 

I’ve lost benefits, regained benefits, filed for expedited reinstatements  and more, and through it all, gained  a nuanced understanding of the mistakes that can be made, and how to minimize and manage  the risks involved.

I would love to help you get through this challenge as well, and feel confident in  your ability to control if, when, and  why you might lose benefits, rather than getting unpleasantly surprised by Social Security with no recourse!

you deserve to control when, if, and how you stop recieving Disability benefits!

Social Security runs both the SSDI program and SSI, collectively referred to as “disability benefits”.

Social  Security says they want to help us return to work if we can, but their programs designed to help are often described in government legalese, difficult to make sense of. I’m here to  help you decide if, when, and how you earn your way off of  your hardwon benefits.