Recently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) which administers social security disability insurance (SSDI) and supplementary security income (SSI) benefits has recognized the roles social media like Facebook and Instagram can play in making decisions about disability benefit applications.
Many applicants don’t necessarily want their friends to know they are disabled so may feature themselves as being more able than they really are.
If the SSA discovers that an applicant may have been taking part in an activity that would not deem themselves disabled, their social security disability claim may be denied.
If you believe you are eligible to receive disability benefits, it doesn’t mean you should give up using your social media platform, but just consider the fact that whatever you post could be seen by others, including the SSA. There are ways you can minimize access to your social media account by adapting your public profile.
Here are some tips to consider to using social media if you are in the process of filing a disability claim.
Tips for Safe Social Media Use When Filing a Disability Claim
You can help to conceal your identity by omitting some personal information about yourself. This includes using a nickname instead of your full name and removing contact details like email address and phone number.
Examine your account’s privacy settings and set them so that only your listed friends can see what you are posting.
To be on the safe side, don’t publish anything that could have an effect on your disability benefits application even though you have set your privacy settings so that only people you know see your posts.
Don’t discuss your disability claim on social media.
Go through any earlier posts and delete any that could affect your application such as photos showing you engaging in a physical activity, even if these posts were from a period before your disability developed.
Avoid discussing any recent activities that you have taken part in which may have shown you involved in any type of physical exertions.
Never post or comment about activities you can or cannot do due to your condition.
Tell your friends to stop tagging you in any photos as this means you can be discovered more easily on a Google search. Understand that even though you are not posting incriminating photos, if they tag you, it could be found by merely performing a Google search.
Get Assistance with Your Disability Claim
Working with a disability attorney would be in your best interest when filing a social security disability claim because the attorney would know what and what you shouldn’t do during the application process.
He or she would likely explain why you should keep your social media account low profile and help you to adjust your privacy settings so that you have more control over who can see and comment on your posts.
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