Applying to a disability benefits program has gotten stricter after Trump administration's policy of social security administrators carrying out undercover surveillance of claimants to rule out fraud.
Undercover Surveillance by Disability Investigators
People who have applied for social security disability claims often find themselves under thorough observation ranging from outside of their homes to shopping malls, amusement parks, bus stations, gas stations, grocery stores, even doctor's clinics or finding out what you talked about with your doctor and much more. So, if you are applying for SSDI benefits or know someone who is a claimant, you might want to keep an eye around you for SSA's undercover surveillance disability investigators.
Methods of Surveillance Your Disability Investigator Might Use
The SSA won't be actively seeking to carry out in-depth investigations of a disability claimant. However, they could seek to spy on your social media accounts to your private life if they notice red flags, or have received a complaint against you.
Remember that unlike SSI, the disability benefits are solely need based depending on your medical and non-medical conditions. Hence, if the SSA gets the impression that you're manipulating facts or are faking injuries/disability it could land you in serious legal trouble at worst and possibly getting flagged forever by the Social Security Administration at best.
On the other hand, if the disability investigator notices you performing activities outside your home that a person with that kind of disability would not, they could flag your application as fraud at best.
Moreover, having a social media presence doesn't automatically mean you'll be under surveillance. The social security knows everything on social media isn't real. In the world of putting up happy faces and disguising weaknesses, photoshop, filters and whatnot, the SSA doesn't automatically assume your disability as non-serious. However, once you've filed an application, you should refrain from posting images from the 'past' when things were okay or your present symptoms had not occurred yet. This is because anything posted on social media could be easily interpreted as you being not 'disabled enough' to get the SSDI benefits.
In addition, as a claimant you must also be careful when running errands, going to the church, walking meagerly, travelling or attending social events. If overdone while under surveillance, your disability investigator could easily tag you for having an active lifestyle and not very limited to your disability.
Don't Over Share Personal Information With Your Doctor
While being careful about your online and public life, you must also be considerate about sharing anything too personal (besides your disability) with your doctor. Wanting to tell your attending doctor everything about your disability is good, but over-sharing personal information about what is going on in your life may backfire for your disability case.
For instance, never tell your doctor about giving a lending hand to your brother in moving houses, babysitting your grandchildren or pets, attending a family vacation and so on. Doing so may be used against you in your disability application and even disability hearing. That is, your disability investigator may think you're over exaggerating your symptoms or are having an active lifestyle more than what you've made people believe.
If you are a disability claimant and think you may be flagged for surveillance by the SSA, you can seek legal help from our expert disability advocated by getting functioning suggestions about your daily activities and lifestyle.