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Surveillance Techniques Increasingly Used by Disability Insurers

Surveillance Techniques Increasingly Used by Disability Insurers

A recent Bloomberg BNA article detailed how disability insurers are increasingly turning to social media and other surveillance methods to gather evidence showing that disability applicants are not disabled, and thus not entitled to benefits. Even for those individuals who already are receiving disability benefits, the disability insurer may use any evidence it can find to terminate your benefits. If you are one of the more than two billion people who log on to Facebook each month, you could be at risk of losing your disability benefits, simply due to a misconstrued Facebook post or other observations or records of your daily activities.

For example, if you claim to be suffering from a back injury that makes you unable to work, but you post pictures of you hiking and riding bicycles for lengthy distances every weekend, then the insurer could use these pictures against you to deny or terminate your claim for disability benefits. It is this kind of evidence that insurance companies may use to accuse you of submitting a fraudulent claim for benefits.

In other cases, the evidence may be far more subtle and therefore open to interpretation. For example, if you are a woman who is receiving disability benefits from a severe case of endometriosis, the level of activity in which you can engage may be debatable. Does or should your medical condition prevent you from shopping for groceries or working in your garden? How much activity indicates that you are not disabled and unable to work? These are the questions that easily can arise when an insurance company views your posts and pictures on Facebook or other social media platforms.

Some insurers even contract with third-party investigation firms in order to dig up dirt on their insureds so that they can either deny their claims outright or find a reason to terminate their existing benefits. Plus, social media posts play a part in the investigation of almost every claim, due to the prevalence of social media usage by individuals to document every aspect of their lives.

When you are facing an issue that is as important as your right to long-term disability benefits, the attorneys at Bonnici Law Group have the skills and knowledge to advise you of all potential options. We know how crucial this support can be to you when you unable to work and we are here to represent your interests throughout any dealings that you must have with your insurance company. For legal advice about your claim, please contact Bonnici Law Group at 619-259-5199 or help@bonnicilawgroup.com.

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