Social Security Administration may search social media to evaluate disability claims

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  If you’re like most Americans, posting to social media is part of your routine, but as always you need to be careful what you post online. That’s because the Social Security Administration could soon start monitoring social media accounts in an effort to find those trying to cheat the system when it comes to disability claims.

According to CBS News, the SSA currently has a disability investigations unit that looks to social media to help spot fraud alongside the Officer of the Inspector General. However, that effort will soon be expanded to include those seeking to apply for disability benefits.

The agency hasn’t released much information on how much weight social media posts will carry, but as CBS affiliate KPIX reported, the idea is already raising some eyebrows. Some worry about privacy concerns, while others like Jeffrey Preefer, an attorney who worked social security cases for decades, fear the posts could be taken out of context.

“Social Security is not based on being a quadraplegic, it isn’t based on you being confined to bed,” he said.

“Disabled people still have a life. They go to the supermarket, they go visit family. The question isn’t can you not do anything, the question is when you try to do things how much can you do?”he added.

Others say if you post it to social media it should be fair game.

If you’re going to be stupid enough to post yourself doing things you shouldn’t be doing,” he said. “If you’re saying you have a disability and
can’t stand up to work, and then you post a picture of yourself bungee jumping, you’re showing a fraudulent case.”

Preefer said individuals will have the opportunity to explain posts and to have a judge decide.

Another concern is how long the added step will take when it comes to processing new claims.

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