Law Office of Patrick E. O'Neill, PSC
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Social Security fraud panic may lead to social media monitoring

It has long been the thought of many politicians and others that many residents of Kentucky and other states apply for Social Security payments based on a disability that either does not exist or, at best, has been greatly exaggerated.

Based on these concerns, the Social Security Administration, or SSA, in connection with the President's team, are considering a proposal that would allow officials with the SSA to do more routine monitoring of a claimant's posts on social media.

In other contexts, social media posts have been very handy for proving that a person has lied about or exaggerated a legal claim. The SSA currently uses social media when investigating a case of already suspected fraud, but overall, such monitoring is not a frequent occurrence.

While proponents are worried about the thought of rampant fraud within the system, those who are more skeptical of this proposal point out that it might lead to an unfair denial of a valid claim.

For instance, a person's old photos, taken before his or her debilitating injury or illness, could be used against him or her if they seem to call his or her condition in to question. Innocent though they may be, such photographs could be very hard to explain.

On its part, the Social Security Administration's own website estimates that fraud is afoot in less than one percent of all claims. Admittedly, though, this is because the Administration takes steps to head off invalid disability claims before they get approved.

In any event, a person living in and around Jackson pursuing a claim for Social Security Disability needs to understand that other information about their lives, not just what is on their application, is fair game in a disability determination. Detailed questions about how best to pursue a claim should be directed to an experienced attorney.

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Law Office of Patrick E. O'Neill, PSC
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