When seeking long-term disability benefits, most people want to know all the reasons why claims get denied, so they can avoid those mistakes and ensure that they get the benefits they need. While most of this inquiry is focused on the documents involved with the claim and the supporting medical documents, there is one area of concern that is completely outside of the benefits process.
If an insurance carrier has anything it can use to claim that you are not truly disabled and you are capable of working, it may deny your claim. It is important to note that this information can come from many different sources.
Your online presence
Some of the most common places insurance companies look to disprove that you are disabled is on the social media sites most people use every day: Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, etc.
On these sites, insurance carriers can find evidence of:
- Your physical condition: If you are claiming disability due to an inability to walk, for example, online photos of you hiking in the woods or climbing in a mountain would be positive proof that you are healthy enough for work.
- Your emotional health: Many disability claims involve emotional or psychological illnesses rather than those that are physical. For example, if you are claiming a debilitating depression, photos of you having a great time dancing and laughing with your friends could undermine this claim. Although there is more gray area in psychological disabilities than in the physical ones, social media posts could still undermine your claim.
- Your ability to perform your duties at work: At the most basic level, if you provide photos and posts that show you have the physical ability to do your job, it would likely result in a denial of your claim, and the insurance company would have a strong case in court.
Although social media involves sharing personal photos and posts that are readily available to the public, people are often surprised that an insurance company could use this information to deny claims. Social media posts – even those marked as “private” – can often be obtained by anyone. These posts are usually time stamped, as well, giving solid physical evidence or your activities, thoughts and feelings at specific times.
It is critical, if you are seeking long-term disability insurance, to be cautious with your social media posts so that you don’t undermine your own claim.