any bass players on disability? please don't laugh

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by poomwah, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
    I know this is a really personal question. But are any of you on disability but still playing out? I've got a shot at getting into a cover band. But I'm on disability (please don't laugh) for a mental disorder. My fear is that they will think that if I can play in a band once a week that I would be able to hold a regular job. I honestly don't know if I could do the gigs or not. And I would of course make sure the band new that before hand. Even if i could handle the weekly gig, it wouldnt be the same as a regular job. I mean, being behind my bass, I almost feel like a different person. If that makes sense. I mean, if a regular job meant having my bass with me and four guys I'm comfortable with for 4 hours at a time, once a week , then I'd be all set.
    Anyway, would I wind up losing my benefits if I played out?
  2. funkybass4ever


    Dec 12, 2007
    Many mental diabilities allow the person to play or even excel in music so I do not see that as a problem. The problem may be if you earn money from playing music.:bassist:
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Reviewer: Bass Player Magazine
    You are still allowed to work if you are on SSD, but the amount you are allowed to make is limited, and there is a whole "ticket to work" program. Call Social Security for exact information on the subject, as the type of your disability may or may not affect if beginning work again will put a time limit on your SSD. They aren't going to penalize you or take away your benefits for ask- it's a common question and they know that SSD alone isn't enough to pay the bills for a lot of people. I'm disabled, but my disability is blindness, which falls under a slightly different category than other forms.
  4. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Can you do volunteer work and keep your benefits? If so, then I think you could work something out -- i.e. not getting a paycheck from the band.
  5. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Be very careful. I once knew a guy on Social Security disability because he had MS. So he called the Social Security Administration and asked how much money he could make and keep his benefit, and they told him, but he neglected to tell them that he was on disability and not regular Social Security retirement. So, he took a part time job and when the Social Security Administration found out about the job he found himself in a real legal mess. You might want to consult with a lawyer that specializes in this stuff. I see them advertising all the time on TV.
  6. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
    I'm on SSI disability. I called and they said I could make 85 a month before they started deducting from my monthly check. Then at that point, whatever I make, they'd take that much out of my monthly benefits.
    the problem I'm worried about is that they might think that because I can do that, that I could have a regular job too.
    like someone on disability for a bad back working at a gym or something. I don't know
  7. WickedPissah

    WickedPissah Guest

    Jan 22, 2008
    Maybe the band could just pay you under the table?
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Reviewer: Bass Player Magazine
    SSI is different from SSD, so I don't know about that. With SSD for the blind for example, you can make over $1600 a month after disability payments.
  9. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
  10. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Not if you communicate this to your case worker instead of us bozo's. :D

    Let him/her know you want to try playing music in a band to see if you can emotionally/mentally handle it. If anything, it can be viewed as you taking an active role in your recovery and may score you some good points with your case worker.

    Your other option is to sneak around, and possibly get caught. Then you'll lose your benefits, get fined, and maybe even have to pay back what you have received so far.

  11. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
    that's what I'm trying to avoid.
    maybe I shouldn't even try it. I talked to someone at ssi, and they said it wouldn't look good for me to be up there. "if you could be in front of all those people, why couldn't you be in a regular job"
    I tried to explain to her that when I'm playing with people, its like I have some sort of shield in front of me, like my bass is a pyschological shield or something, I know it sounds crazy. But in situations like that, that's all there is, just the music, just the playing, nothing else. Anyway, I was told to expect to have my case re-evaluated
  12. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    One question here:

    WHY would you possibly think that any of us would LAUGH at someone admitting that they're disabled?! I mean I know this is the internets and I've seen some messed up stuff at TB but I think you really didn't need the disclaimer!

    Or am I giving us too much credit??

  13. I certainly hope you aren't giving us too much credit. After all, we are all bass players and that is almost a disability in and of itself.

  14. LowBSix


    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    -700 Billion.... We've got enuf bailouts.

    Seriously, your issue is not a laughing matter and is very real... To be an artist, there's usually a "problem" according to society...

    Give it a shot...
    Be honest and fair...

    Get well! :cool:
  15. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
    I asked noone to laugh because I posted a similar thread on another forum, and someone decided to post a parody thread about it. I figured since it got turned into a joke there, I'd hope it would be taken more seriously here.
    Thank you , by the way, everyone for all the advice. and just for "listening"
  16. Maybe you can get a head shrinker to go on the record saying that as well?
  17. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    There are some serious legal issues at stake. Talk to a lawyer.
  18. ForestThump

    ForestThump Guest

    Jun 15, 2005
    Is musical therapy legally recognized for certain mental illnesses?
    Sounds like a specialized lawyer could sort this out.
  19. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
    thanks everybody, I really appreciate the advice. I haven't found a lawyer yet that deals with this sort of thing, but I'm still looking
  20. Ericman197

    Ericman197 Guest

    Feb 23, 2004
    I detect a hint of not wanting to work in your posts. For what it's worth, I think it could be a great thing for you to get out there and play on the weekends. It may very well help you progress with whatever problem you have.

    However, I think the money is a bit of a petty concern. With the way the economy is right now, you shouldn't be looking for loopholes to make money by playing shows, yet remain on disability.

    I hope you don't take this the wrong way, because I know very little about your condition. But judging by the way you've written your post, you don't sound schizophrenic, delirious, mentally ********, etc. In no way am I saying that you don't have a problem, but there's no indication in your post that you are suffering from anything that would absolutely prevent you from working (yet somehow mysteriously allow you to practice bass and play shows in a band).

    Before you say that I don't know what I'm talking about, I have seen a couple of patients with VERY serious issues that are harder working and more productive than most people I know. A particularly inspirational story comes to mind, but I try to be careful with confidentiality. I still cannot and will not say you are faking or exaggerating, only that something doesn't quite fit - that is, if you really can get along well enough with other people to write/play music for several hours a week, yet somehow cannot do any real work.