Social Security May Use Your Social Media Posts to Deny Disability Claims

The Social Security Administration (SSA) already uses Facebook and other social media feeds selectively if they suspect fraud in an individual’s application for disability benefits. The SSA might start using this tactic routinely or regularly when evaluating claims. A Texas social security disability attorney can help you navigate through the Social Security disability benefits process, from the initial filing through appeals of the denial of benefits.

You must have a severe medical condition that prevents you from supporting yourself through the performance of any kind of work to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The impairment must either last for at least 12 months or be such that one would reasonably expect the condition to last that long. The medical severity test applies to claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

When people post photos and other information online, whether on Facebook, Instagram, or other sites, the material becomes public. No matter what privacy settings you use, it is impossible to erase all record of things posted online entirely.

Think of how some photos and videos go viral. One person posts the item. Some of that person’s friends share the posting with their friends, who share it with their friends, and so on. Before you know it, thousands or even millions of people have access to the posting.

Praise for the Use of Social Media to Evaluate Disability Claims

Some people support the notion of the SSA using social media postings to uncover fraud. People who collect disability benefits fraudulently cost all of us money in higher taxes and less funding available for those with authentic disabilities.

Non-disabled con artists routinely scam programs intended to help those with challenges, whether it is by wrongfully getting a handicapped parking license plate or collecting a benefit check every month for a non-existent disability. When you work hard for a living, it does not seem fair to see your neighbor, who is as fit as you are, leading an active, fun-filled life on the backs of the taxpayers.

When someone submits a claim for disability benefits, claiming that she is bedridden, the SSA will evaluate the application, including the person’s medical condition. If the applicant posts photos of herself on social media performing activities that would be impossible for someone with the impairment she alleges in her petition for benefits, the SSA can deny or stop her benefits.

Criticism of the Use of Social Media to Evaluate Disability Claims

Some advocates for people with disabilities argue that using social media material is discriminatory and assumes that people with physical or other challenges have no involvement in their communities. These advocates also point out that people tend to present the most flattering image of themselves as possible on social media, and do not show the daily struggles of living with a disability.

The bottom line is that government agencies can and do use social media as part of their investigation of claims for assistance. Contact the Law Office of Carey Thompson today to learn more. A Texas Social Security disability attorney can provide advice and guidance when you want to apply for Social Security disability benefits.