Social media! It’s everywhere and it is the most sedentary thing one can do. Even disabled people can take a peek on a phone or a tablet. It’s light, it’s there and you barely move a muscle.
But a lot of damage can be done with social media. Most people don’t think about that when filing a disability case. It’s the last thing on their mind. It’s just there. Those little apps sitting quietly on the phone and a life saver when one is bored. Waiting for time to pass.
In the waiting room in a doctor’s office, at the dentist, in the car (hopefully while not driving) and in bed. Who doesn’t do it? You lie down and you are still trying to unwind so you check your friends on social media without even thinking what it could do to your case.
Investigators in Long Term Disability cases and even judges in Social Security cases are taking a closer look at your social media accounts. If your settings in those accounts allow for anyone to go in and take a look at your accounts it is easy for these investigators and judges to make assumptions.
Assumptions that may cost your case and with it thousands of dollars gone!
They don’t care if that photo of you having the time of your life on a cruise is 3 years old. Or that you are seen holding a golf club with a picturesque location in the background and all you did that day was to stand up from the bench to take that picture. Or all you have done that day was sit while watching others play. It doesn’t matter that the business you dreamed to have one day is just an open account on LinkedIn. Or even though you never even opened that business or have made any money with the business.
All they see in your Social media is that it looks bad. Really, really bad!
Enough that they are even salivating when they find this type of evidence against a claimant.
So, as much as people don’t think about social media when filing a disability case, it is time to take it very seriously. In a very connected world like ours you never know what people know about you or what they can see. But if you are giving free access to your virtual life, one that you could actually control a bit, please take charge. Either close your social media accounts or change your settings to a more private setting.
Also, be careful what you post even if the account is private. Be careful with your own friends posts in their own accounts. Even if you have private settings, some of your friends may not. If you are tagged in any of their open posts, you will be visible.
If that photo of you in a friend’s pool shows up in your friend’s Facebook page and his/her page is open to the public, there’s your photo, in all it’s damaging glory!
Even if all you did was go in the water because it helps with your back pain!
The issues with disability and social media are new. But these are picking up speed. Who knows what else will be available in the near future that can reveal things we don’t wish to be seen in public?
The reality is, there is no more privacy in this world. And if you file a claim for disability (Social Security, Long or Short Term disability or any other types out there) any and every information readily available online can and will be used against you. Learn more at this new site
Please be “virtually” safe!