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Social media may keep you from receiving disability payments

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2019 | Firm News

If you have a debilitating injury or illness that prevents you from working, then you’ll want to use caution when you post on social media. A report published by the New York Times just this week chronicles how the current Presidential Administration has been secretly crafting a proposal that would require Social Security disability examiners to review recipients’ social media pages to see what they’ve been up to.

When discussing the budget last year, some members of Congress vowed to support any legislation that would expand the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) review of Facebook or Twitter pages in making disability determinations. Many of them agreed that this was one approach that had the potential of improving the SSA’s ability to identify fraud and thus improve the program’s integrity.

Many proponents of such legislation argue that Americans’ social media pages can reveal a wealth of information about them. They note that the SSA could use them to truly determine whether an applicant’s reported injuries truly impact their ability to work.

The bill’s opponents, including the current SSA commissioner, argue that pictures can often be deceptive and lead individuals to draw the wrong conclusions.

In case you’re wondering why President Trump is considering making the qualifying criteria more stringent, it’s because more than 10 million Americans currently receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments each month. There’s north of $11 billion allocated to payments on a monthly basis. In an era in which President Trump is struggling to balance the budget, he’s looking to cut costs whenever he can.

Since the current Social Security commissioner has expressed some reservations about the use of social media to vet prospective disability payment recipients, he notes that he and his colleagues are working on other ways to reduce fraud.

Conditions that the SSA argues qualify as serious impairments are limited. In order for you to be eligible to receive disability payments, your injury or illness must severely affect your ability to perform normal activities at work. If you’re unclear as to whether you have a qualifying severe impairment, then a Social Security Disability attorney can help you determine whether you qualify to file a claim.