Social Media and Your Disability Case: How Things May ChangeBy Kenton Koszdin Law Office on April 21, 2014 | In Social Security Disability
It seems hard to believe in this era of ubiquitous social media that staff members of the Social Security Administration (SSA) who look at initial Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims and administrative law judges who are charged with presiding over hearings of disputed Social Security Disability Insurance claims are not allowed to look at Facebook posts in context with a case.
That may be changing.
Recently, a rock musician who was collecting SSDI benefits was cut off by SSA after his posts on social media revealed that he was still continuing to perform and raise funds for an organization he founded. Many 9/11 responders recently accused of defrauding SSDI had posted Facebook photos of themselves playing sports, fishing, and riding motorcycles and jet skis.
The inspector General of the SSA recently told a hearing at the claims and benefits subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that when it comes to investigating fraud, “Social media is a good tool, and we need to move to the 21st Century.”
The hearing, which was chaired by James Lankford (R-Okla.), examined fraud within the system, the rising costs of the program and the funds needed to continually review SSDI cases.
Jennifer Nottingham, president of the National Association of Disability Examiners told the committee that due to hiring freezes and cutbacks, the system has taken a hit and the backlog of cases has increased. She did say that using social media to expose fraud “could be useful.”
The SSA Inspector General said he would like to implement a pilot program in which social media is used in fraud investigations.
The SSDI attorneys at the Kenton Law Office in Los Angeles never condone fraud — it just casts a negative shadow over the system and over those who legitimately deserve SSDI benefits. That being said, in this free-for-all atmosphere of attacks on the SSDI system, it is important that you think before you post on social media. Even the most innocuous post has the potential to be taken out of context and could be used against you in the future.
If you have questions about how you should approach social media when you are seeking SSDI benefits, call us toll-free at (800) 438-7734. You can also or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.