You wouldn’t think that having a LinkedIn account could be a problem, but sometimes, it can.
Like when you are applying for or receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”).
Social Media Accounts and Disability Benefits.
According to several recent articles, social media monitoring is a growing practice. It is becoming increasingly more common for insurers or third-party investigators to review the online social media accounts of disability applicants or those receiving disability benefits, for information that casts doubt on the person’s claims of disability. Much of what is being found on social media posts is being cited as the basis for denying disability insurance payments.
Although the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has official rules prohibiting disability examiners or Administrative Law Judges (“ALJ”) from searching social media cites or the internet for information about disability applicants, that rule does not include fraud investigators.
Besides, just because there is a rule, that doesn’t mean that it never happens.
Facebook or Instagram posts of photographs of people on vacation, or out drinking, laughing, dancing and socializing can directly contradict claims of severe and debilitating pain, anxiety, depression and the like.
Even LinkedIn accounts or posts can give the wrong impression when it comes to disability claims. LinkedIn accounts that list current employment or appear to indicate that you are currently looking for work, can completely derail your disability application or cause you to lose your benefits.
Does this mean you do not have a right to live your life just because you are receiving disability benefits?
Of course not.
But what it does mean is that you need to be aware of what you are posting and how it may look to Social Security fraud investigators or other SSA employees who are not supposed to be investigating you but are.
So before you post on social media, think about it. If you have pictures of yourself dancing and socializing before the onset of your disability – either take them down to avoid any misunderstandings or date-stamp them so that it is clear when they were taken.
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.
Your Credibility Matters.
When you are truthful and consistent in what you say and do, you are believable. If you want help with your disability application or hearing, contact us. We are experienced disability attorneys with offices throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois. We also have offices in Oklahoma. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Send us an e-mail or call 855-727-8625.