Social media posts may affect your disability benefits

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2019 | Firm News

Like most Hoosiers, you do not mind working hard to support yourself and your family. Unfortunately, though, certain illnesses and injuries can make working impossible. If so, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits may be necessary for paying bills. 

Applying for SSDI benefits is rarely easy. To receive benefits, you must document your medical condition. You may also need to attend a hearing. When determining whether you should receive benefits, though, officials from the Social Security Administration may look outside the formal record. Put simply, what you post on social media may affect your eligibility for benefits. 

An expectation of privacy 

Every American has a right to privacy in certain situations. Popular social media platforms are part of the public sphere. That is, you probably cannot expect what you broadcast to your followers and others to remain private. While the SSA already looks at social media accounts for beneficiaries suspected of fraud, the agency probably has solid legal footing to expand their review to include applicants and other beneficiaries. 

Some evidence of overall health 

When you complete an application for disability benefits, you inform the SSA of your medical conditions and lifestyle limitations. You may reveal, for example, that you are unable to walk, drive or leave your home. If you subsequently post photographs of you jogging in the park to Instagram or Facebook, SSA adjudicators may question your need for disability benefits. 

An incomplete record 

A major problem with reviewing posts on social media accounts is that they often paint an incomplete picture of reality. That is, you may want to present yourself in your best light to your friends, family members and other followers. Even though you may struggle with everyday tasks, posting an active or happy photo may make you feel better. Still, agency officials may use the incomplete record to deny benefits. 

Millions of Americans rely on disability benefits for their basic survival. If you have an injury or illness that makes working impossible, you want your application for benefits to be as uncomplicated as possible. Before you engage on social media, think about how your posts may affect your disability benefits.