We’ve previously discussed how social media can work against you in terms of your disability and workers’ compensation claims, however, there is new information that the Social Security Administration may now be actively screening individuals’ Facebook and Instagram posts as a regular part of evaluating disability claims. In addition, it is also important to remember that, in general, social media can have a significant effect on personal injury claims overall, as we discuss below.
News from the Social Security Administration
According to the 2020 budget proposal released by the Office of the Inspector General on March 18, the Social Security Administration is planning on expanding the work of its disability investigations units to use social media posts to flag potentially fraudulent activity and review applications for disability benefits. Specifically, according to the budget report, they plan on “evaluating how social media could be used by adjudicators” to assess the “consistency and supportability in a claimant’s case file.”
The Problem with Relying On Social Media to Judge a Case
What is particularly alarming about this announcement is that the Administration has not provided any plan or details as to how, exactly, it plans on doing this, and this raises a number of questions, such as how they will be able to use what they gather as official evidence to deny claims when they cannot actually authenticate any of these posts because social media accounts are not tied to Social Security numbers, for example.
In addition, social media isn’t exactly an indicator of how someone is living their every day (possibly disabled) life. In fact, most of what is posted on social media have to do with one – sometimes overly ideal – the image of things, such as the image of picture-perfect vacations. In other words, one photo has the potential to be taken out of context and used against a claimant at a disability hearing.
Contact Our California Attorneys to Find Out More
Filing a disability claim—particularly when you don’t work with an experienced San Diego car accident attorney to do so—is already quite arduous and can take years to complete. Adding in additional social media reviews will undoubtedly exacerbate this issue for people who are already typically suffering from a serious medical condition and out of work because of it. Taking a social media post out of context in an effort to deny a claim can only make things more difficult when they are difficult enough.
The same goes for an insurance company if you are injured in a car or slip and fall accident: the at-fault party’s insurance company will assign an adjuster to your claim, and it is the adjuster’s job to find any way possible to minimize a payout. This includes looking at your social media posts that are accessible that could be used against you.
Remember that a completely innocent post can always be used against you. If you have been injured—whether it be at work or otherwise—contact our San Diego car accident attorneys to schedule a free consultation and obtain strategic advice about how to ensure that you are on the path to obtaining the compensation you need to get on the road to recovery.