While a majority of people receiving Social Security disability benefits are honest and forthcoming about their medical conditions and their inability to work, there are some people who take advantage of the system by exaggerating their injuries to collect benefits they don’t really need. The Trump Administration is working with SSA officials to put a stop to these fraudulent disability claims with a new proposal that would let officials monitor SSD recipients’ social media accounts.
As of now, the SSA does not usually look at Social Security disability recipients’ social media, but if someone’s case is flagged for possible fraud, the SSA may look at social media to confirm information they have collected. By monitoring social media proactively, the SSA will essentially be able to see whether recipients are telling the full truth about their injuries and conditions. For example, a person may be claiming that their back injury prevents them from working, but at the same time, they are posting photos of themselves playing sports or lifting heavy items.
However, some people are concerned that the SSA will read into these social media posts and end up denying benefits to people who actually do need them. Many people post photos from the past that do not reflect their current status. Also, people generally post photos of themselves at their best, and rarely photos of themselves when they are in pain.
According to the Trump Administration, the proposal will ideally be ready to go in 2020 and could go into effect even without Congress’ approval.
If you are a recipient of SSD benefits, it is important that you give the SSA a complete and accurate picture of your medical condition or injury, as well as your inability to work. If you commit Social Security Benefits Fraud, you can lose your benefits and face criminal penalties. The best to avoid any sort of accidental miscommunication is by working with an experienced attorney during your application process.