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Considering disability? Watch what you post on social media

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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If the President and the Social Security Administration have their way, the Administration will start to review the social media posts of applicants and recipients of disability benefits on a broader basis. The two parties are purportedly working on a proposal that would make such monitoring more common than it is currently.

Currently, the Administration’s practice is to examine social media accounts only rarely, and usually when there is already some reason to suspect that someone is abusing the Social Security system.

Ostensibly, the reason for this policy change is to cut down on a supposedly rampant problem with fraud within the Social Security disability system by being more proactive. However, the Social Security Administration estimates that fraud only happens in less than one percent, that is, less than one out of 100, of all its disability cases.

As critics of this proposal argue, the potential problem that North Carolina residents can run into with a proposal like this is having someone judge the whole status of their application based on a photograph or two. For instance, someone with a legitimately bad back may find his or her application for benefits denied based on one dated photograph of him or her engaged in a sporting activity.

Of course, Charlotte residents should be honest when applying for disability benefits. They also should be mindful that their lives to a certain extent will be under a microscope. However, as we have discussed before, whether someone meets the requirements for receiving Social Security Disability benefits is really a big picture question. An applicant may wish to have legal assistance in ensuring that the Administration understands the full extent of his or her illness or injury.