It seems that almost everyone is using social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are only some of the most popular platforms that allow users to share details of their lives with everybody in the world. Most users probably cannot imagine that strangers are closely monitoring their accounts, but if you apply for disability benefits, there is definitely one entity following your exploits closely – the insurance company.
In a recent article posted by Bloomberg, Jacklyn Wille explains that many insurers have closely scrutinized the social media posts of people who have either applied for disability benefits or who are currently receiving benefits. The companies are looking at social media posts for one simple reason – to find evidence that a claimant is not disabled so that they can deny benefits. According to the article, the following insurers have all cited social media evidence as grounds for denying claims:
Many insurers also contract with third-party investigators who will track the social media posts for a fee.
Readers might be surprised at the evidence that insurers have used to deny claims. Generally, any post about a physical activity that is inconsistent with a claim disability is relevant. However, insurers have also relied on the following:
Any post that shows you traveling or engaging in physical activities can become evidence an insurer uses in a claims proceeding.
Disability claimants do not have to completely stop posting social information online. However, caution is absolutely warranted. For example, a disability claimant should do the following:
Finally, ask friends and family to be sensitive about what they share. One insurance company found a post from a claimant’s ex-wife, bragging about the two of them completing a 300-mile motorcycle ride. The insurance company relied on this post when challenging the husband’s disability benefits.
The Law Offices of Michael Bartolic is proud to represent clients seeking long term disability benefits. As part of our practice, we can advise you about how to build your case the right way—and how to keep the insurance company from using social media posts as ammunition against you. To schedule a free consultation with a Chicago attorneys, please contact us today.