How Can Social Media Impact SSI and SSDI Claims?

Individuals who are disabled and have a qualifying work history, whether via their job or through a qualifying family member, such as a spouse or parent, may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The main distinction between SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility is that the SSDI benefit program requires payment into the Social Security fund through payroll taxes during qualifying work history while SSI requires a showing of financial need. 

Furthermore, in most states, SSI recipients are immediately eligible for Medicaid upon approval of benefits. Similarly, everyone eligible for SSDI benefits is also eligible for Medicare after a 24-month qualifying period. 

The first 24 months of disability benefit entitlement is the waiting period for Medicare coverage; however, people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be eligible for medical care immediately.

You can Contact a disability attorney to learn more about the application and approval process. We have a highly experienced team ready to assist you with your concerns. Depending on the disability condition you are dealing with and other criteria, our firm can apply a customized legal strategy that is unique to every client’s needs.

Social Media Impact SSI and SSDI Claims

Almost everyone uses social media in some way

Social media allows us to stay in touch with friends and family while also sharing what is going on in our own lives. Some people are more comfortable expressing intimate parts of their lives, while others are perhaps a bit more private. 

Whatever the degree of comfort, it is vital to realize that what they share can have unforeseen consequences. Getting disability benefits can be a daunting task if you are not cautious about what you share with the world.

Those who file a claim for SSDI or SSI should be aware of what they share and that some posts can convey misinformation when taken out of context, which could affect the claim’s approval. 

This does not mean a claimant should avoid the Internet entirely, but they should be cautious about what they post on social media because the Social Security Administration looks at social media while examining the veracity of claims.

The Disability Over 50 Program is a great way to help older adults get approved for disability benefits. There are a separate set of rules followed by this age cohort. Get in touch with a legal professional for more information, including the criteria listed in the Blue Book that may need to be met to qualify for benefits.  

Tips on how to avoid hassles with a claim

When faced with unusual circumstances, those that use social media should be cautious. There are several things to consider:

  • Privacy settings: It would be better if your posts are only viewable by  friends, family, and acquaintances that you control access to. Limit access to your photos, messages, and personal information. Even then, it is still a good idea to anticipate that whatever you post could be reposted or accessed by strangers.
  • Misunderstanding: Be cautious of posting anything that the SSA might misinterpret and result in a denial of a claim. An image from before the injury, for example, may show an unharmed individual enjoying activities that they can no longer participate in.
  • Injury details: Anything on the internet concerning the injury or treatment, including the circumstances surrounding the wound and the type of the injury, can contradict the claim.

Simplifying the process

Because applying for disability requires specific bureaucratic procedures, it always seems to take longer than it should. If the impaired worker posts information or images that contradict their claim, the process might become more challenging.

You do not have to quit using social media if you are filing for disability. You are free to continue posting and sharing, but you should take the following precautions:

  • Keep the amount of personal data in the account profiles to a minimum. Leave the last name and other details like one’s city, state, date of birth, and phone number, and use only one’s first name or a nickname.
  • Examine the privacy settings for each account. Many social networking platforms do not immediately make profiles private. It helps if the user information is not open to the public, and information should only be shared with approved friends and family.
  • Before making a post, give it a second thought. While keeping posts private is a good idea, one should still avoid posting anything inappropriate in case it is shared with others by those who do have access to your account. Consider whether the SSA might misinterpret some published posts before sharing them.

How to prevent SSA from dismissing the Claim?

If you protect your privacy, postings on any social media platform may not harm your chances of being approved for benefits. If you do not stay cautious, however, your use of social media may impact the result of your claim. The Social Security Administration has suggested that information obtained from social media sites may be factored into disability decisions. 

The goal is to detect fraud by reviewing shared photos and information that applicants provide. Illinois Social Security Disability attorneys are highly experienced and are of great help. While it is important to ensure that those whose disability claims are approved are truly disabled, the idea ignores the fact that people frequently post exaggerated and sometimes completely false information on these sites. 

For example, many people post photos of themselves that portray them far more positively than more candid shots would. As a result, being evaluated based on what you publish on social media does not seem fair, but that does not mean it will not happen. If your claim has been denied due to a social media post, or for any other reason, contact us today.

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