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Social media could impact disability benefits in the future

News from March 19, 2019, discussed an interesting claim that the Social Security Administration (SSA) may begin using social media to evaluate people's disability claims. Presently, the federal agency does use Facebook and Instagram to investigate cases of fraud, but it plans to expand the usage as far as evaluations for benefits.

The trouble with this is that social media isn't a good measure of a person's life. Social media is often used only to share the most important times in people's lives or to reflect on experiences they had in the past. It's well-known that social media is not a direct reflection of what people go through on a day-to-day basis.

The SSA stated that the consideration of social media as a way to evaluate applicants is still ongoing. The administration is evaluating if social media could be used to assess applications for consistency and supportability of the claim.

The biggest problem is that posts can be, and often are, taken out of context. Social media doesn't reflect people's typical lifestyles, in most cases, because many people only submit information that shows how they want their life to appear. For example, you might show yourself dressed for a night out but not show the difficult day of therapies or medical treatments that led up to that moment.

As someone who is considering filing for disability benefits, you must be cautious about what you post online. If your social media doesn't reflect your reality, it could come back to hurt you if the SSA begins to use social media to determine benefits and the approval or denial of claims.

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