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Social media and disability insurance - a word to the wise


Senior Member
East Coast city, USA
It's just a matter of time before a policyholder's Tweets or Facebook posts become part of an insurance company's evidence against them. We advise our clients to keep their personal lives private and limit the information that they share online. Every disability claim is subject to traditional investigation, from field representatives who show up unannounced at your home, interview your neighbors or conduct video surveillance.

If you participate on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any of social media websites, be prepared to have this information viewed by more than just friends and family. If you post on forums and any of those postings can be linked back to you, those too are likely to be examined. An individual who is out on claim for a disability needs to be mindful of the public nature of the internet.

Source: Frankel & Newman (attorney website)


Senior Member
This is for Long Term Disability, not SSDI. SSDI/SSI will not investigate you unless someone reports you for fraud.

Yes, you should keep a low profile on the net, use a fake name, don't reveal personal info that can let a person figure out who you really are.
Wild Wild West, US
Social media and disability insurance

This is so true. You must pay attention to these wise words. I myself have been a victim of video surveillance by LTD Insurance carrier. And although I had nothing to hide as I was and am very ill, during the 2 wks that they watched me I did go out to the doctors office and to make a deposit at the ATM machine.

They sent the video to every doctor that I have seen in the last 5 yrs and asked them if they thought after viewing it if I was still disabled. They also sent a transcript of the personal interview they did with me. Dont ever think that anything you say or do will be private.

My PCP told them I was still disabled. The rest of the doctors did not respond except for my podiatrist who said that I might be able to do sedentary work. That is all the Insurance Company needed to deny my claim. My Podiatrist has never even taken my temperature.

Now I have hired an attorney and must appeal. My checks stopped coming in April and I lost my only source of income.

When looking for an attorney I found that they checked facebook, MySpace, etc. before taking on my case. The lawyer I hired said they had just turned down someone who they found had posted a proud pict riding a Harley on MySpace. It doesnt matter when the photo was taken. It was the stupidity of posting it publicly.


Senior Member
Quebec woman blames Facebook for losing insurance benefits

Updated: Thu Nov. 19 2009 5:03:19 PM


A Quebec woman says she lost her insurance benefits because of pictures on her Facebook page.

29-year-old Natalie Blanchard of Bromont had been on long-term disability for 18 months because she was diagnosed with depression. She had been collecting sick-leave benefits because she was unable to do her job at IBM.

Her insurance company, Manulife, recently stopped paying her.

Blanchard claims this happened after she posted photos on her Facebook page showing Blanchard vacationing at the beach and at a male strip show.

The insurance company disagrees, saying it would not deny a claim just because of pictures on the internet.

Manulife spokesman Tom Nunn said "we would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on websites such as Facebook."

Blanchard has hired a lawyer who calls the insurance company's actions "inappropriate."



Patient in training
i got a question here: wiht CFS, we all know we sometimes havee a window of time we can go out and do things. Recently for me, it's been mostly grocery shopping and the needed errands and then I go back home. If a friend asks me for coffee and I really want to do that, I will do it.

One of my hobby that I will not name here involves going out to meet people, for maybe 3 hours at a time. I come back exhausted for about a week because I pushed my boundaries, but it made me happy. Am I in the wrong for doing that?

Also my communication on Facebook bother me- and thinking of either disabling it, but everything that's been on facebook is traceable, am I correct?

What about home e-mail?

Addendum: I know someone who was on LTD after getting prophylactic chemo that left her fingertips so numb that she could not hold objects therefore she could not perform her job.Well she spent a lot of days out meeting friends for lunch, taking walks, taking yoga classes etc... while recieving LTD. How can you be accepting this claim, and refusing a claim of someone fairly sick with CFS but with windows of opportunitiees?It doesn't mean that you can work 40 hours a week, xonsistently?


Senior Member
East Coast city, USA
Hi Kati,

Some disability insurance companies are ruthless, and if they can find a reason to deny a claim or termiate benefits they will.

You are, of course, correct: just because we have windows of opportunity where we can go out and function does not mean we are able to work. However, once your benefits are terminated you have to appeal and that costs money as you really should retain a lawyer. Certainly people who have been videotaped have been reinstated after such an appeal. But there are others who simply give up. And that's what the LTD companies are counting on.

I don't know enough about Facebook to answer your question regarding deleted information being traceable. I think private emails are fairly safe.

You are wise to consider the risks (and benefits) of internet communication in this context.



Senior Member
I understand about facebook and twitter what about this forum? If we are using different names can they trace us?


Senior Member
Melbourne, Australia
This is just a very general comment about life.........

Someone I know in the telecommunications industry (an expert) told me a few years ago, that anyone can get any information about you (as soon as you have an account or personal record of some form).

Everything is traceable. If you have a gas account for instance & your name & address are on that account then an expert could use it to find every single thing about you.

The communications industry is monitored 100% of the time. Eg if you phoned a friend & said you saw a "documentary on tv on terroism, the other night", just as I have typed right now, it can be picked up. When picked up, it can be dismissed or investigated. There are millions & millions (trillions?) of pieces of information & EVERYTHING IS TRACEABLE. I type the word "pedo***le" & it will be noticed.

Even if you are on the internet & type one single word, it is traceable.

I suppose if you lived in a third world country in a bark hut, where there are no records of your birth or death, and all your ancestors had no records of birth or death or name etc, that would be the only way you would be untraceable. And if you become a World Vision sponsor child, you instantly become traceable.

And no matter what you delete on the computer, it is still traceable on the hard drive (or through whoever you sent it to).

In this day of modern technology, there is no such thing as invisable.

Phone, fax, mobile, personal account, internet.............camera, video............

This really does suggest to me, that if you spend 2 hours in a coffee shop laughing & having a good time with a friend, someone, somewhere, could be watching you.

So, forgoodness sake everyone, have a miserable expression on your face 1440 minutes of the day & stagger around 525600 minutes of the year (even if you're having a "good" day). :D

(or have a damn good lawyer ;)).

PS What is this world coming to? :worried:. But I think you all get the point!


Moderation Resource Albuquerque
If you participate on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any of social media websites, be prepared to have this information viewed by more than just friends and family. If you post on forums and any of those postings can be linked back to you, those too are likely to be examined. An individual who is out on claim for a disability needs to be mindful of the public nature of the internet.
And this today:
Benefit Fraud Probe Targets 400 Facebook Users

Facebook has been forced to turn over photos from the accounts of nearly 400 users suspected of committing disability benefit fraud.
The record number of search warrants was issued by prosecutors who want to see whether people who are claiming disability benefits have posted photos of themselves taking part in vigorous activities.

In the past, Facebook photos showing people riding jet skis, playing golf and performing martial arts have led to successful prosecutions.
Facebook objected to the search warrants issued by New York state prosecutors, and was backed by Google and Microsoft....


Senior Member
Report: Social Security disability fund to run dry next year
Originally published July 22, 2015 at 10:39 am Updated July 22, 2015 at 2:13 pm

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The 11 million Americans who receive Social Security disability face steep benefit cuts next year, the government said Wednesday, handing lawmakers a fiscal and political crisis in the middle of a presidential campaign. The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare said the disability trust fund will run out of money in late 2016. That would trigger an automatic 19 percent cut in benefits, unless Congress acts.

The average monthly benefit for disabled workers and their families is $1,017. The typical beneficiary would see a reduction of $193 a month. “Today’s report shows that we must seek meaningful, in some instances even urgent, changes to ensure the program is on stable ground for future generations,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, the chief executive officer of AARP.

In more bad news for beneficiaries, the trustees project there will be no cost-of-living increase in benefits at the end of the year. It would mark only the third year without an increase since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. Separately, about 7 million Medicare beneficiaries could face a monthly premium increase of at least $54 for outpatient coverage. That works out to an increase of more than 50 percent. MORE: