California residents may endure a long wait to find out if they have been approved for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Disability benefits are an important source of support for men, women and children who cannot work due to disabling illnesses, injuries or conditions, and who do not have other sources of income or funding. Once they are issued, disability benefits can be reviewed and evaluated to determine if their recipients still qualify for them.
Regular reviews of disability benefits are normal, but a new method of investigating individuals who apply for disability benefits may be on its way into practice. In a recent report regarding the Social Security Administration's budget, a proposal was made to use applicants' social media accounts to determine if they really need disability benefits. In other words, the Social Security Administration may go through applicants' Instagram, Facebook and other social media profiles to look for evidence that they may not qualify for disability support.
Although Social Security uses social media reviews to investigate possible instances of fraud, the use of such platforms is not currently practiced for reviewing applications. Some believe that the potential use of social media posts, pictures and other data may be damaging to applicants' claims, as it is not possible to tell whether a person is truly disabled based on what they choose to share online.
Everyone should be aware of how the information they share online is used, and individuals who apply for and receive disability benefits should know that their accounts may be accessed by the Social Security Administration.