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SSD benefits could be impacted by social media scrutiny

Being unable to work and in need of medical care can be a difficult issue for Georgia residents to deal with in any situation. When their injuries, condition or illness reaches a certain severity and they need to apply for Social Security disability benefits, there will be a great deal of consternation as they wait for a decision. Even those who are already getting disability must be concerned over factors that might result in their benefits being reduced or stopped altogether.

Recently, a new concern came to light as the Social Security Administration is planning to keep tabs on the social media accounts of people who are seeking benefits to see if there are discrepancies with their claim and what they can really do. The SSA currently checks claimants' social media to check for fraud. The new goal is to expand that for 2020 as part of the evaluation and review process for those seeking and getting SSD.

While this could be initially viewed as a non-issue for people who are disabled, simply checking a person's social media could result in confusion and mistakes if the SSA misinterprets a post that implies the claimant was doing something he or she was supposedly unable to do. This will also have the effect of slowing the process further than it currently is. For many claimants who do not meet the requirements to be considered a candidate for an expedited case, the wait time might be up to three years. This will extend that.

The new plan for the SSA to scrutinize social media accounts is not an issue to be concerned about right now as it has not yet been approved, but it adds another wrinkle for those who are seeking disability and they must be ready for it. With any issue related to SSD benefits, it is wise to have legal advice from the beginning whether the case is in its initial stages of accruing evidence and filing or the person is already getting benefits and is concerned about them being stopped. A law firm with experience in Social Security disability will be up to date on the current and planned laws and strategies of the SSA to help clients with their disability claims.

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