Some individuals in California have seen the way social networks can impact their life at school or work in a negative way. It may be surprising to some that what they post on Facebook and Instagram may soon affect their Social Security disability claim. In the budget for 2020 that was released by the Social Security Administration, more money would be used to examine social networks as a way to see if an applicant meets the criteria for disability benefits.

This is not something that is completely new for the Social Security Administration. Staff members already use social networks to some extent to identify fraudulent claims. What they would like to do is use social networks to a larger extent to better assess a claim and determine if someone is eligible for Social Security disability.

Some may be concerned about their data privacy if the Social Security Administration does expand the use of social media when looking at applicants. Part of the reason why this is worrisome is because they would need to access the backend of a user’s data with the permission of the social network company. It seems that this would be necessary since Social Security numbers are not linked to social media profiles, and many social media users have privacy settings that only allow friends to look at their posts and pictures.

Another challenge arises when looking at social media to determine if a person has a true injury or disability. Not everyone is going to use social networks to discuss the difficulties they are going through. However, they may post a few pictures when they are having a good day.

If an individual has applied for Social Security and had their benefits denied, they may want to speak with a Social Security disability lawyer. This lawyer may assist their clients through the appeal process and help them to apply for benefits again. They might answer questions regarding eligibility requirements and represent them in court if it is necessary.