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I’m a huge fan of social media. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, Yelp, Google Plus, and my favorite, Snapchat, most of the day. I even go back to Myspace from time to time when I want to feel ironic. I like social media so much that I work in social media. I’ve written blogs and made videos seen by thousands of people. So, it’s safe to say that I know a few things about this subject. I also know a lot about what you shouldn’t do on social media. Today we are going to remind everyone why they should be careful of what they post on social media, especially when it pertains to your social security disability claim.
It’s 2016, and we’re all connected. One could even argue that there are no secrets anymore because of social media. As long as social media has been around, there have been people incriminating themselves on Facebook. Sometimes it’s as simple as ruining a surprise for a friend because you posted a picture of the gift you bought them. Most of the time though it can be more dramatic. Most people can recall at least one story of a person who called off from work and later posted pictures of themselves at a movie or sporting event later that same day. However, if you’re pursuing a social security claim, a Facebook post could keep you from getting your benefits.
When you pursue a social security claim, you’re arguing that you can’t work because of your disability. So, if you’re stating that you can’t perform your duties as a truck driver because of your bad back, but at the same time post pictures of yourself online chopping firewood, your claim could be in some serious trouble. Those photos could be used to deny your claim.
Most people will argue that they are careful, or that they don’t have very many followers, so no one will ever see their posts. However, in the world of social media, there are cautionary tales everywhere. If you think a Twitter account with a small number of followers won’t get noticed, just look at what happened to Justine Sacco. In short, Justine was a Senior Communications director for a company in New York. She only had 170 Twitter followers. She claims she made a racist tweet as a joke before boarding her plane. By the time her plane landed 11 hours later, she was the number 1 trend on Twitter worldwide, had enraged thousands, and even lost her job…all while unaware on her plane. She only had 170 followers, and now everyone knows her name. She’ll never be able to escape that tweet. It was even parodied on an episode of The Simpsons.
You may argue that your account is private and only people you know can see your posts. However, private accounts are not foolproof. It only takes a second to screenshot your post by a so called friend. Then they could possibly share that screenshot to their account, and tag you in it. If their account is public, anyone can see it.
You may also argue that you’d never post anything incriminating on your account. Well, I saw an example of this in my own timeline in the past week. An individual I know who is very vocal about the fact that they are receiving Social Security Disability, posted about how he was helping to build a house. That could hurt their claim. They later posted other incriminating information about other ways in which they were breaking the law.
I want to give some advice here, but I don’t want to over simplify by saying that you should just use common sense. It’s simple though. If you’re pursuing a social security claim, think about what you post online. If you are arguing that you can’t work, don’t post a photo of yourself doing work. Don’t brag about how quickly you mowed the lawn. Do people really need to know that you just bench pressed 250 pounds? Social media can be a great thing, but we must use it responsibly. Use it to connect to people, share photos of your cat, or even just talk about your favorite foods.
At Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, we use Facebook to connect to our clients. If you’d like to know more about our services, check out our Facebook page. You can also call us via our toll free number, 1-877-526-3457, or even fill out this form now to connect with one of our specialists.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law