Social media has become the way that we share our lives with the world. Long gone are the days of printing and mailing pictures to family and friends. Now, with the click of a button, you can share photos or even live stream videos on social media, which creates a way for families to stay connected even if they live on the other side of the country (planet even). However, long-term disability companies can use your social media accounts against you. More and more frequently, social media accounts are being used to deny LTD claims.
In this article, we will explore:
- How insurance companies use your social media accounts to deny you; and
- Ways to protect yourself from investigators.
How Your Social Media Accounts Can Lead To Denial
When you have a significant disability, it can be depressing. You may have many bad days that you don’t even want to get out of bed. But on the good days, you may want to get dressed and get out of the house. Most doctors encourage you to do this as well to combat depression and get your body moving. Use caution when selecting what activities you do and how you use social media to share this information.
During the disability claims process, an investigator can be assigned to follow you and even videotape your activities. This is legal and can be used in court against you.
Example: Margie has been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and suffers tremendous back pain. She has many bad days where she can’t even leave the house, but one day Margie is feeling good and decides to attend a free concert in a park close to her home. She only attends for a couple of hours but shares a picture of her with friends enjoying music at the park. This image can be used against her in court. The insurance company will claim that if Margie can go out with friends, she is well enough to work.
Although Margie knows that this is not true, and she followed her doctors’ orders by getting out of the house for a few hours, the insurance company will use this as an excuse to deny her claim.
Ways to Protect Yourself
Deactivate Your Account
The number one way to protect yourself is to deactivate your accounts. When you deactivate your account, your information will no longer appear in searches, and you will no longer be tagged in photos that may cause you problems down the road.
Stay Off of Social Media
If you do not want to deactivate your account, do your best not to post on social media. This way, you can still see pictures of family and friends. Be careful when you comment on others’ posts or groups as well. Investigators are sneaky and will try to find your activity any way they can.
Set Your Profile to Private
Change your privacy settings for your profile and your posts to only be able to be viewed by family and friends that you trust. Be careful when accepting friend requests; even if they look like someone you know, it could be a fake account used by an investigator to gain access to your information. Even with a private profile, your friends can tag you in their photos, if their profile is public, which means that anyone can see the pictures that you are tagged in as well.
Ask Your Friends Not to Tag You
If you don’t want to close your account temporarily, ask your friends not to tag you in photos or posts if you are having a good day and decide to attend a function. Be alert when people are taking pictures, so you do appear in them if possible.
In conclusion, social media is not a bad thing. But the insurance investigators will try to discredit you by taking advantage of your good days. Try to avoid social media as much as possible by deleting your accounts, setting your profile to private and asking your friends not to tag you. Stay alert and use social media with caution, so you do not jeopardize your disability claim.
Using an experienced disability attorney will help you protect yourself against insurance investigators. The Ortiz Law Firm is based in Florida but represents claimants across the country. Receive a free consultation by calling (866) 853-4512 with no obligation. We can help you evaluate your claim to determine if you will be able to access Long Term Disability Benefits and how to move forward with the process.