Applying or Receiving SSDI? Stay Off Social Media
The Trump administration and the Social Security Administration (SSA) are currently working on a new law that could have serious ramifications for anyone applying for, or currently receiving, Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. The law, if passed, would increase monitoring of the social media profiles used by those applying for or receiving SSDI to identify fraudulent claims. Lawmakers say that this type of monitoring would allow the distribution of benefits to those that really need them, and eliminate them for those that don’t.
Arguments for the Proposal
Unfortunately, there is a small minority of people that claim SSDI benefits when they don’t really need them. In order for a person to be eligible for SSDI, they must have sustained a serious injury that prevents them from working. They must also have enough work credits to claim SSDI, as it’s a system that is paid into by employees through every paycheck.
Some people though, claim the current administration in the White House and at the SSA, attempt to receive benefits when they are capable of working. Allowing more access to these claimants’ social media profiles would help identify what these individuals are doing in their daily lives. If they’re out golfing or fishing, perhaps they are not as disabled as they claim.
However, this is a dangerous line of thought, advocates of disabled individuals say, and one that cannot be properly monitored.
Arguments Against the Proposal
One of the biggest arguments against the bill is that it is already so difficult for individuals requiring SSDI to receive it. It’s been estimated that the SSA denies approximately 70 percent of the applications it receives. From there, individuals must appeal the decision and in the majority of cases, even attend a disability hearing where they must present their case to a judge. During this hearing, the individual must also prove their disability.
Many argue this provides enough proof to ensure SSDI benefits go to those that really need them. Providing the SSA with one more way to deny claims means that only a very small percentage of people will be granted SSDI benefits in the future.
In addition, many have also pointed out that it’s not only new pictures that go up onto sites like Facebook and Instagram. A person may have a picture from a year ago, or even older, and choose to display it on social media. Simply because it was posted at a certain time doesn’t mean the event or activity displayed happened at that same time. This makes accurate monitoring impossible.
SSA already monitors some social media profiles but currently, this is only done when the SSA already suspects fraud on an application. Advocates for disabled individuals also claim this should be enough to track down the minority of SSDI cases involving fraudulent statements.
Having Trouble Applying for SSDI? Speak to a Scranton Disability Lawyer that can Help
Unfortunately when someone is severely injured and seeking the benefits they need, they don’t always face a sympathetic audience. This makes applying for SSDI quite difficult. Anyone applying for SSDI should speak with a Scranton Social Security disability lawyer for help.
At Haggerty, Hinton & Cosgrove, LLP, we will help you with your application for SSDI benefits from beginning to end. We will advise you on certain factors that could affect your claim, such as social media, and guide you while filling out your application to give you your best shot at receiving benefits the first time you ask. If that is unsuccessful, we will help you appeal the decision and represent you during your disability hearing. There’s a lot involved in an SSDI claim, and we want to make it easier for you. Call us today at 570-354-5205 or fill out our online form to learn more about how we can help.