Is Social Security Using Social Media to Reject Disability Claims?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) may be using social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to nix social security disability claims.

The SSA’s disability investigations divisions, along with the Office of the Inspector General, are already using social media posts to flag fraudulent activity. The agency may soon review social media when deciding whether to award benefits on a claim.

What Are They Looking for on Social Media?

In the 2020 budget proposal released in March, the SSA announced its plans to expand its social media usage to reviewing and evaluating applicants for disability benefits.

The SSA wrote in its budget proposal that the agency is looking at how social media could be used in evaluating the “consistency and supportability of evidence in a claimant’s case.”

The idea has drawn support and criticism. Proponents say more attention to people’s social media profiles could reduce the amount of fraud. However, some advocates for applicants seeking benefits argue that social media posts may not be an accurate measure of a person’s life, since users typically only share information that they want their friends on social media to view favorably. Someone may be hesitant to upload content that shows how they deal with a disability on a daily basis.

Critics of the proposed move say that social media reviews could delay the time it takes for applicants who are already unable to work to be approved. A final rule could be issued by the SSA in spring 2020.

Over 10 million people receive Social Security disability benefits, which cost about $11 billion monthly. About $3.4 billion in overpayments were made to beneficiaries in 2017, according to The New York Times. The social media strategy is believed to be part of a larger effort to eliminate wasteful spending on social welfare programs.

What Constitutes Fraud on an SSDI Claim?

The following are some examples of situations that the SSA deems to be disability fraud:

  • Making false statements to the SSA
  • Stating a disability is worse than it is actually is
  • Concealing facts that affect eligibility
  • Receiving Social Security benefits for a child who is not the claimant’s
  • Cashing the check of a dead individual who was receiving Social Security
  • Concealing a marriage that would stop Social Security benefits
  • Using someone else’s Social Security number

The most common forms of SSDI claim fraud are making false statements and hiding information that can affect eligibility.

How Can Paul Baker Law Office Help Me?

If you need help filing an SSD claim in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, or a nearby state, it is critical that you get assistance from a knowledgeable and skilled lawyer. An experienced attorney can increase your chances of obtaining benefits in a timely fashion.

The Paul Baker Law Office helps disable workers with SSD claims in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and surrounding states. You can have our experienced disability claims lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us or complete an online contact form now.

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