If you need to claim disability benefits via the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), you need to take care with social media.
ERISA insurers use investigators to search for ways to deny claims. They could follow you around in person. Yet, that is labor-intensive. It is far easier to follow you from the comfort of their office chair via social media.
Even if you do not use social media yourself, you probably have friends, family and colleagues who do. It may only take one post to see your ERISA claim denied, regardless of who made the post.
When living with a disability, you do your best to make your life work for you. If that means suffering from pain for a week so that you can walk your daughter down the aisle, it is your right to choose. An investigator who sees this moment in a photo may seize on it as proof that you can walk and, therefore, work. They will ignore the week of agony that five minutes of walking cost you. They will overlook that you had to take a ton of extra-strength painkillers to be able to do it.
Even LinkedIn could cause you problems when claiming benefits
Let’s say your disability prevents you from returning to your previous job. If your LinkedIn profile is open to public viewing, an insurer could scroll down it. They may see that aged 18, you worked in a call center and suggest you seek a job in that industry because it does not require you to move.
Suppose an insurer cannot find a reason to deny your initial ERISA claim. They may continue to look for ways to challenge it for years to come. You should always be ready to fight for the benefits you are due.