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Administration may start reviewing social media posts

A new regulatory proposal, currently being floated between the President's team and the Social Security Administration, may lead to a regulation that will authorize or even require the Administration to examine social media posts when reviewing disability benefits and claims. Currently, the Administration only does so when there is already some suspicion of fraud or abuse.

For those in favor of the measure, the concern is that many people in Philadelphia, and throughout the rest of the country, are gaming the disability system. In other words, they may claim they have a debilitating injury but are in fact perfectly able to carry on with their normal life, and work, activities.

Officials who like this new measure believe that a quick review of social media posts will cut down on this supposedly rampant abuse. By way of example only, someone who wishes to have disability benefits for back pain would likely have his or her claim derailed if officials found a social media post of the person doing gymnastics or lifting heavy weights.

On the flip side, critics of the new proposal suggest that social media posts are simply not reliable evidence as to whether a Pennsylvanian is entitled to Social Security Disability payments or not.

For instance, many people may post, or maintain, old photos on their social media accounts. It would not be fair to assume that such people are trying to bend the rules.

One important takeaway from this story is that even those who honestly do have debilitating injuries are not always going to face a sympathetic audience. There are unfortunately many within the system who come in automatically skeptical of anyone who says that he or she is injured. Compiling a truthful and persuasive case for benefits, perhaps with the help of an experienced attorney, is therefore important.

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee