How Social Media Can Affect Your Social Security Disability Claim

Submitted by CM on Wed, 12/15/2021 - 22:38

If you have a disability you may not want to admit it to your family and friends so you may decide to downplay your disability on your social media platform. You may then feel more at ease.

However, if you wish to qualify for a disability benefit it is not unusual for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to pry into social media accounts as they are open for anyone to access. It is far better to avoid mentioning your disability on your social media platforms so you can protect your right to a social security disability benefit.

The Potential Harm of Social Media

The reason for doing this is to help identify and investigate unlawful disability claims. If you file for disability, the SSA may start checking out your Facebook, Instagram, and any other social networking profiles you may have to make sure you are behaving as if you are disabled.

For example, if you have filed a disability benefit claim for degenerative disc disease, the SSA may check your social media posts to confirm that you aren’t engaging in activities that would not be consistent for a person who is inflicted with chronic severe back pain.

If you were seen playing basketball in a team or with family or friends the SSA will quickly be questioning you on your ability to engage in such an active pursuit when you are in the process of applying for disability benefits. Even just engaging in any form of independent activity may put your eligibility for a disability benefit in doubt.

Tips for Safe Social Media Use

Just because you’re applying for a benefit doesn’t mean you should stay off social media altogether. These are just a few tips you should follow to help protect yourself from being intimidated by the SSA.

  • Limit the amount of personal information on your account such as any income you may be receiving that could imply you are quite capable of working;
  • Switch to a private social media account so that you can decide who can view your posts as most accounts are automatically public. For example go to the settings in your Facebook account and tick the box that states only your friends have access to your personal information and posts.
  • Put a bit of thought into what you want to post before you do it as even just a small amount of detail about your self could threaten your chances of being approved for a disability benefit.
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    The SSA’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget evaluation mentions its increased social media surveillance to help evaluate a claimant’s case for disability benefits. This means you should consider carefully what you post before you actually post it if you don’t want your social security disability benefits application denied.