If you receive disability benefits through workers’ compensation or Social Security, and you have an account on Facebook or Twitter, some people are looking online for any indication that you are not legitimately disabled. Investigators and claims adjusters look for pictures and words that describe you as fit and healthy, or at least as more fit and healthy than you claim to be.
For example, if a spinal injury keeps you from working, a photograph of you winning a weightlifting competition or building a tree house will throw a lot of doubt on your claim. However, it might be a photo that’s five or ten years old, even if you only uploaded it last week. An online visitor can see only the date the photo was posted.
Your online presence is there for all the world to see, and information obtained online can definitely be used against you in a court of law. If you have a pending claim for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration or workers’ compensation, use sense and caution on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Adjust your privacy settings and be extra-choosy about which photographs you share. Don’t “brag” online about receiving workers’ comp or Social Security benefits. You simply have to assume that if you receive benefits, someone is occasionally monitoring your social media accounts.
In California, if you’re injured at work, you’ll want to file for workers’ compensation. For what workers’ comp can’t cover, or for non-work-related injuries, you’ll probably want to file for Social Security Disability. Either way, you’ll want to consult with an experienced California disability attorney. A good workers’ comp or Social Security disability lawyer can help you with applications and hearings and give you the legal guidance you need. Also, if your claim is challenged – because of a picture on Facebook, for example – an experienced disability attorney can defend you, your claim, and your legal rights. Use wisdom when you’re online; assume you’re being monitored; and don’t hesitate to seek help from a good California disability lawyer.