Christina Rivenbark & Associates ATTORNEYS AT LAW

Your online presence can make or break a disability claim

Do you have a serious medical condition such as an inherited degenerative condition or an aggressive cancer you developed because of your job? You probably anticipate that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will help provide benefits for you and your family when you are unable to work.

Most people assume that simply having a particular medical diagnosis is all that they have to worry about if they want to obtain Social Security Disability benefits. However, any application for benefits will receive significant scrutiny from the SSA, especially if the application relates to a serious condition.

What you can expect after filing a claim

You can expect to face a thorough investigation, which could even include your social media posts and online presence. What you say online could have real-life consequences for your disability claim. Knowing this can help you make better decisions about your online presence.

Anything that makes it look like you aren't hurt can harm your case

Did you attend a party where you were able to overcome your pain for a few minutes to enjoy a dance with your friends? Did you take a trip to the beach and take a photograph without your crutches? These may seem like simple actions, but they can have devastating consequences for your disability claim.

Any photograph or post on social media that makes it look like you aren't really hurt could undermine your claim to benefits. Your best option is to use strict privacy settings. Options include the ability to limit who can access and view your posts. However, you can't control what other people post on their own accounts. Even the people you love and trust may share something that could cause you problems with your claim.

Develop your record of medical evidence of pain

You don't have to locking down your social media account. However, protect yourself during and after a disability claim by documenting the ways in which your injury or illness affects your daily life.

If your doctor has stacks of notes from visits related to pain or decreased function, that can certainly help your case. So, too, do records that show that you have complied with all treatment suggestions and therapy recommendations. When you can demonstrate that your condition absolutely affects your daily quality of life and ability to work, you drastically improve your chance of a successful disability claim.

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Wilmington, NC 28403

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