Social Media & Long-Term Disability Claims

In today’s digital world social media has become a daily part of our lives, allowing people of all ages to share all aspects of their lives with their friends, family, and the general public with a click of a button. Many people make social media posts thinking that nothing hinges on them and look only for the approval of their followers and the public at large. However, for people who are applying for, receiving, or have been denied long-term disability benefits, the use of social media can have serious consequences that may jeopardize their chances of receiving the benefits they rightfully deserve.

Who Is Looking At Your Posts?

Long-term disability claims are filed by people who are unable to work due to a physical or mental health condition that is expected to last for an extended period of time. These claims are often complex and require claimants to provide detailed medical evidence to support their case, proving ongoing restrictions and limitations which prevent them from working. In this context, social media can be a double-edged sword, as photographs and videos posted to social media are specifically chosen by the poster and routinely used to portray oneself in a positive light and with the intention of putting forth content that will receive approval or “likes” from followers or the general public. As a result, social media posts are not reflective of a person’s day-to-day reality. Unfortunately, such posts can be used as evidence by insurance companies to dispute the severity of a claimant’s disability or to question the credibility of their statements.

For example, photos or posts showing a claimant engaging in physical activities or social events can be used to argue that the claimant’s disability is not as severe as they have said it was. Similarly, statements made by claimants on social media platforms about their health or activities can be taken out of context and used to undermine their credibility. Even if you have an explanation that makes sense to you, the insurance company will look to interpret your social media post in the worst way possible for you.

Insurance companies are some of the biggest businesses around and they and their representatives are increasingly using social media as a tool to gather information about claimants that may be used against them in the process of adjudicating long-term disability claims. Some insurance companies have in-house groups that are dedicated to scouring the internet for any and all social media they can find. Insurance companies also frequently use private investigators to scour the internet for social media postings.

Practical Tips To Protect Yourself From Your Insurer

In order to avoid problems due to your social media, when pursuing a claim for long-term disability benefits, it is important for claimants to be cautious about what they post online and to be aware of the potential consequences of their social media activity.

  • Privacy Settings: Make sure you are aware of your privacy settings for your social media accounts and are in control of who can see your social media posts. Keeping control of who can view your content will minimize the risk of anything you post being used against you in your long-term disability claim.
  • Think Before You Post: Before you post anything on social media, whether it is a photograph, a video, or a statement, take a second to think about how it may look to others and how it could be construed against you and if it suggests that you’re more capable than you really are.
  • Do Not Discuss Your Disability Claim: Don’t discuss your claim for long-term disability benefits on social media. There is no benefit to doing so and there could certainly be negative consequences. It is a private matter that should only be discussed with trusted individuals or medical or legal professionals.
  • Review Your Social Media Accounts: You should review your social media accounts to ensure there is no content that could potentially impact your claim. If necessary, you could consider removing or adjusting posts that could be misinterpreted and used against you. You also have to be careful to consider what stage you are at in your claim for long-term disability benefits. If you have been cut off from your long-term disability benefits after having received them for some time, it is likely that your insurance company has already looked at your social media, and if you delete posts after that it could cause more damage to your claim than leaving the posts up would have.
  • Seek Legal Advice: If you are simply not sure about how your social media postings may impact your long-term disability claim, seek out legal advice from a lawyer who specializes in insurance denial claims. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide you with advice on how to protect your rights and how to navigate your claim for long-term disability benefits.

If your long-term disability claim has been denied due to problems arising out of social media posts, we can help. Contact our experienced long-term disability denial lawyers today for a free consultation. There are strict timelines in which you have to act if you want to fight your insurance denial.