Someone looking at a social media feed

If you’re applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the process can feel complex and even overwhelming. You might wonder whether details of your daily life, such as your activity on social media, could come back to impact your claim. With increasing scrutiny by the Social Security Administration (SSA), it’s essential to understand how your online presence might be viewed.

Yes, the SSA Can and Does Look at Social Media

Social media has become a regular part of how we connect with friends, share experiences, and express ourselves. However, it’s crucial to realize that the SSA can and does investigate social media profiles as part of its review process for disability claims. They typically focus on finding any potential inconsistencies between what you’ve documented in your application and what your social media activity displays.

Read More: Supplemental Security Income vs Social Security Disability

What the SSA is Looking for on Your Social Media

Here are the primary things SSA investigators pay attention to when reviewing your social media:

Paperwork with a rejected stamp
  • Inconsistencies with Your Claimed Disability—If you claim severe limitations due to chronic pain, but your social media is full of posts about hiking trips or physically demanding activities, it raises red flags. The SSA can use these as signs that your disability may not be as severe as you’ve portrayed it.
  • Signs of Work Activity—Any indication that you are working or earning income (even informally) while claiming you cannot work due to a disability will jeopardize your case.
  • Your Lifestyle vs. Claimed Limitations—Even without referencing work, photos, or status updates depicting a very active lifestyle, travel, or hobbies can challenge the claim that your disability prevents you from performing any type of substantial gainful work.
  • Admissions against Interest—Direct statements about feeling much better or indicating that your disability isn’t impacting daily life as severely as you stated in your application can seriously harm your claim.

How Long Does Disability Reconsideration Take?

Protecting Your SSDI/SSI Claim in the Social Media Age

Here’s how to approach social media to minimize the risk of undermining your disability case:

  • Consider Limiting Posts While Your Claim is Pending—Reduce public posts that display physical activities or travel during this crucial time.
  • Set the Highest Privacy Settings—Make sure your profiles are set to “private” and visible only to trusted friends and family.
  • Be Mindful of Comments and Tags—Even if your own profile is secure, posts from others tagging you may still reveal activities considered inconsistent with a disabling condition. You might ask close contacts to avoid these tags while your case is pending.
  • Don’t Minimize Your Disability—While it’s natural to want to highlight positive moments on social media, excessive “positivity” could be misconstrued. If your posts primarily show upbeat situations, the SSA might assume you’re exaggerating your disability’s severity.

Read More: Does Being on Disability Affect Your Credit?

The SSA will focus its social media scrutiny on cases where they have reason to suspect fraudulent activity. Remember, it’s not just Facebook that can be investigated; any publicly accessible platform, like Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube, could be looked at as part of a claim review. Seeking help from a knowledgeable disability attorney is always a wise decision. Tabak Law is a specialist in this complex area of law, ready to put their knowledge and experience to work on your behalf.

Get Legal Assistance With Your SSDI Claim From Tabak Law

The path to securing SSDI or SSI benefits can be confusing and stressful. If you’re in this process, having a strong advocate for your legal rights is crucial. Tabak Law specializes in advocating for those seeking Social Security Disability and VA benefits. If you’re facing hurdles or want to ensure your claim is presented in the strongest possible light, schedule a free consultation to learn how Tabak Law can help you.

Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.

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