social media

Social Media During the Disability Claim Process

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Once you file for disability, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may look into your social media profile. In this article, we’ll explore how this can impact your claim. We will also discuss best practices for using social media appropriately during the disability claim process.

Social Media and the Disability Claim Process

We use social media for everything from getting our news to learning about the best new restaurants in town and more. One of the biggest reasons people stay on social media is to keep up with friends and family. As such, we are well into the time when most of us are posting about our lives on a regular if not more than a daily basis. When it comes to disability claims, however, posting about your disability and your life can be complicated, to say the least.

After filing for disability benefits, the SSA may look into your social media presence. This means looking at your profile and postings on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Think about what you may have posted on these social media sites that could be problematic for your disability claims. You may have been avoiding making your family and loved ones worry and have been consciously or subconsciously posting things to prevent them from worrying. This may have involved downplaying your disability and posting about all of the adventures and daily activities you continue to go on. If the SSA sees such posts, however, they may feel this casts significant doubt on the extent of your claimed disability.

Yes, it has become common practice for the SSA to pry into social media accounts to gather more information on the disability of a benefits applicant. Mentioning your disability, among other things, can jeopardize your right to secure Social Security disability benefits. For instance, is your disability claim based on degenerative disc disease which causes chronic and severe back pain? The SSA may just go to your social media accounts to check and see if your postings reveal a life that falls in line with someone who would suffer from such a disabling condition. If you posted something about a recent hike you went on or a tennis match you played, this may lead to the SSA questioning your disability claim.

During the disability claims process, the best practice would be to avoid social media, but we realize that with modern technology, it can be challenging. If you are not amenable to completely disusing social media for the foreseeable future, you should at least be extremely cautious about what you are posting on social media and severely limit the amount of personal information you disclose on your account. You should also make sure your security settings are as strong as possible on all social media accounts. If you receive a friend request from someone you don’t know, do not accept it.

Los Angeles Social Security Disability Attorney

The team at Disability Advocates Group is here to look out for you and protect your rights during the disability benefits claims process. Contact us today.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.