Receiving Disability Benefits? Think Before You Post on Social Media.
If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”), you know how difficult and time-consuming your road to ultimately being awarded benefits was.
You also know that you need the benefits you get simply in order to survive. No one knows better than you that you don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize your receiving those benefits in the future.
One part of your life that you need to give some thought to is your social media.
Because how long you spend posting on social media and what you post and say about yourself just might get your SSDI benefits taken away.
Disability Benefits and Social Media Searches.
Recent studies report that social media monitoring is a growing practice among employers.
But employers aren’t the only ones who read the tweets, posts and comments of individuals they are interested in, and look at the pictures they post of themselves and what they are doing. Defense attorneys and insurance company attorneys conduct social media reviews in personal injury cases looking for evidence of fraud, and the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) does it too.
While Administrative Law Judges (“ALJ”s) are no longer allowed to search social media sites or the internet looking for information about disability applicants before a hearing, that rule does that rule include fraud investigators who may work for the SSA investigating disability fraud. Plus, not everyone follows the rules.
Which means that fraud investigators and possibly ALJs, are reviewing your posts and how long you spend on social media. Think about it: if you can spend hours sitting at your computer uploading pictures, and posting comments, the SSA will conclude that you could spend hours sitting at a desk job.
It is far more common now for insurers or third-party investigators to review the online social media accounts of disability applicants or those receiving disability benefits, than ever before. These investigators are looking for evidence or information that casts doubt on a person’s claim of disability.
So, think about what you are posting. For example, if you are applying for benefits or have been granted disability benefits based on depression, arthritis, and debilitating back pain, yet you post pictures of yourself out with friends laughing and dancing at a party or a bar, that will cast doubt on your claims of disability and you just might find your benefits denied or retracted.
Even professional accounts like LinkedIn can give the wrong impression if you are a disability recipient or applicant. For example, if your LinkedIn or other professional account lists “current employment” or appears to indicate that you are looking for a job, it will give the impression that you are not disabled and unable to work.
So be mindful of how your social media posts can impact your disability benefits.
Above all, make sure that what you post online is consistent with and reflects what you are telling the SSA.
In other words, always tell the truth.
Getting You the Disability Benefits You Deserve.
At the Day Law Group, we handle social security disability cases and we fight hard to get our clients the disability benefits they deserve. We offer FREE consultations, and we don’t get paid unless you win your disability case. We have offices in Baton Rouge, and we serve Baker, Denham, Gonzales, Port Allen, Prairieville, New Orleans, and Zachary. Call (225) 200-0000 ToDay to schedule your free consultation or contact us here.