Social media can have a surprisingly far-reaching effect on your life. What you share on Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms can affect everything from your job to your family life. You probably already take steps to avoid posting things that would upset the people you love. Have you stopped to think about how posts you share could impact your legal or professional situation?
If you have either a severe injury or a major illness that you believe qualifies you for Social Security Disability benefits, you need to take a close look at what you share on social media and how it might affect your claim.
After waiting for months for a hearing, you don’t want a funny post to cost you benefits. The things you say and share online could come back to haunt you later in court.
Investigators will look for anything they think points to fraud
One of the things that can be quite frustrating about social media is how anyone can post just about anything. A friend could, for example, share pictures from a party that took place long before your accident. If they don’t properly date those photos but do tag you in them, an investigator could see those images of proof that you do not deal with daily pain or compromised mobility.
Asking others not to share images of you or tag you in anything is a good idea. Adjusting your privacy settings to prevent people from tagging you or making images public with you in them is also a good idea. You need to be careful about what you post as well to avoid making investigators with the Social Security Administration suspicious.
From sharing a story about how you are having a good day to a story of a trip you took with a friend, the posts you share could show that your disability doesn’t affect your overall lifestyle is much as you claim it does.
It is best to err on the side of caution when you need benefits
When you have a serious medical condition, it’s easy for people on the outside to make assumptions about how the condition affects your daily life. However, you may simply be trying to find the positive in a life that is difficult and marked by pain.
Others may see a record of a happy and active individual, not someone struggling with daily life or chronic pain. Turning off social media may hurt, but it won’t hurt as much as a denied disability claim.
Everything you share online can potentially get used against you in a SSD hearing. It is almost always better to choose not to post when dealing with the protracted Social Security Disability process than to risk unexpected consequences related to your social media use.