Grieving the Loss of a Job Due to Disability or Illness

Many people don't realise that it is a form of grieving if you lose your job due to a disability or illness.  This page and website will help you to find ways of coping and share advice on how to regain your quality of life.  

Losing your health can bring on many of the emotions of grief. It is a deep loss and so is the loss of a job. Both are major life stresses but you have them both together. They are a type of grief that often goes unnoticed by the rest of the world, so you may not get the same support as if a family member died. 

There is grief here for the loss of mobility, the loss of job, the loss of colleagues, the loss of health. There is also much stress and anxiety about finances, emotional turmoil, anxiety for the future, wondering how the family will cope. 

This grief and loss can be overlooked by others who don't realise you are grieving.  It is a traumatic time. Shock, numbness and disbelief can be as great as if a loved one was lost. It is a huge lifestyle change.  Read more about coping with shock here. 

You may also not get much sympathy if you have an illness that no-one understands or which is 'invisible'. Not everyone who is disabled is in a wheelchair. Illnesses such as chronic fatique, ME, auto-immune diseases and many more, can be incredibly frustrating because to the outside world, you can look fine.  It makes it very hard to get financial or even medical support. But don't give up. There are often online groups for many of these conditions where you will get support from others who do understand.  

Talk to friends and family about your worries. Support your family members too, as they are very anxious and concerned for you too. Hiding their grief to support you. Talk together and grieve together.

The emotions you might be feeling can be similar to those experienced after a bereavement. The coping mechanisms are very similar too. I always advise people to organise, organise, organise.

Ways of Coping with Job Loss Due to Disability

  • Learn to live with your new limitations. You can live a full and worthwhile life, adapt to change. Your life is still precious and useful.
  • Sort out your medical help, housing needs, mobility needs, support groups.
  • Work out your finances. Have to applied for all the support you are entitled to?
  • Prioritise your essential needs. Do you need to change homes due to wheelchair access?  Occupational therapists give practical help on how to adjust housing needs.
  • Do you need to change your car, or have adjustments made to allow safe driving?
  • Look after your general health, get adequate sleep, eat well and get fresh air.
  • Organise physiotherapy for exercise. Keep all your appointments.
  • Accept help!
  • Do you need a carer to help with your everyday needs?
  • Keep busy, get a new hobby.
  • Get a new job. There are still many skills you have that are valued in the workplace.
  • Volunteer. There may be lots of things you can still do, perhaps with limited hours, for example. You could perhaps work in a charity shop, listen to children read in schools, make things.
  • You can still use a computer, play bridge, join a choir, learn a language.
  • You can study. Universities and colleges have a lot of support for disabled students to allow them access to courses.

At first there may be feelings of inadequacy, but you still have many skills and your friends and family still love you. 

Do grieve. You have every right. However, do try to think positively for your own and your family’s sake.

Related Pages: 

More on Coping with Job Loss

Read Sarah's brave story about Life with MS

Read Lesley's article on Fibromyalgia on Sarah Key's Simple Back Pain

Find more information on Coping with Grief


We are two bereaved parents who have teamed up with researchers at Yeshiva University and Memorial Sloan Kettering to study how the death of a child impacts parents’ lives, and the resulting ripple effects as life continues without our children. We invite you to participate in a survey which will help us develop resources to better support parents experiencing the heartbreak of child loss.

For mothers or fathers who have lost a child (or children) of any age, and would like to make a contribution to our understanding of bereaved parenthood, this is a way to make a difference.

If you would like to participate in our study, please fill out this confidential survey at It will take about 20 minutes.

For more details, you can contact the Principal Investigator:

Kailey Roberts, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University.

Thank you for your consideration --

Judith Kottick, LCSW and Jean Singer, PhD

IRB Approved at the Study Level, May 10, 2021. #30499052.0

Have You Considered Online Grief Counseling? 

Get Private and Confidential Help in the Privacy of Your Own Home

The following information about online counseling is sponsored by 'Betterhelp' but all the opinions are our own. To be upfront, we do receive a commission when you sign up with 'Betterhelp', but we have total faith in their expertise and would never recommend something we didn't completely approve.  

Do you feel alone and sad with no support and no idea how to move forward?  It can be tough when you are stuck in grief to find the motivation to get the most out of your precious life. 

Online counseling can help by giving you that support so you don't feel so alone. You can have someone to talk to anytime you like, a kind and understanding person who will help you to find meaning in life again, to treasure the memories of your loved one without being overwhelmed and to enjoy your activities, family and friends again.

  • Simply fill out the online questionnaire and you will be assigned the expert grief counselor most suitable for you.  It only takes a few minutes and you don't even have to use your name.  
  • Pay an affordable FLAT FEE FOR UNLIMITED SESSIONS.  
  • Contact your counselor whenever you like by chat, messaging, video or phone. 
  • You can change counselor at any time if you wish.
  • Click here to find out more and get started immediately. 
  • Or read more about how online counseling works here.  
Woman Crying. Get Started with Online Counselling

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