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Lay Low on Social Media: How Your Social Media Posts Can Impact Your Disability Claim

February 12, 2021 Disability

A Baltimore Disability Attorney Explains How Your Social Media Posts Can Impact Your Claim

To qualify for federal disability benefits through SSDI or SSI,  an applicant must prove that they have a qualifying disability.  In determining whether an applicant is disabled, an SSA examiner reviewing an applicant’s case uses a medical guide called the Blue Book to evaluate the applicant’s medical condition. The Blue Book includes medical criteria that must be met for a condition to qualify as a medical disability.  However, using the Blue Book’s criteria and the medical documentation submitted with the application may not be all the SSA considers when deciding whether to approve a disability application. The SSA may consider information posted on social media platforms when making a disability determination.  

The SSA seeks to approve applications of individuals who are actually disabled.  If you have applied for SSA disability benefits you should be careful about what you post on social media and the picture you may be painting for the SSA.  For example, if you are claiming disability benefits for disabling back issues and you post pictures of yourself flying through the air while skiing down slopes in Aspen, Colorado, this may not paint a picture to the SSA that you are actually disabled.  Below are three recommendations from our Baltimore disability attorney to safely use social media while applying for disability benefits:

  • Limit who has access to your social media posts where possible.  Some social media platforms allow you to limit who can see your personal information and posts such as family or friends only. If you can take measures to ensure enhanced privacy, you may consider taking this extra step. 
  • Limit your personal information.  If you are able to only list your first name and leave off your last name, this may help further protect your privacy.  Also, do not include other information about yourself such as where you live and your date of birth or phone number. 
  • Be careful what you post.  Do not post anything on social media that you would not want your SSA examiner to see.  You don’t want the SSA examiner to misinterpret the actual state of your disability because of something you posted.

Contact a Baltimore Disability Attorney Today for a Free Consultation

If you have questions about social media do’s and don’ts when applying for social security disability benefits, contact a Baltimore Disability Attorney today. We can help answer your questions. You can call the Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin at 443-839-0818 or complete our online form. We can answer the questions you have about your federal disability benefits.  We work with clients throughout Maryland and surrounding states.