Recent articles indicate that the Trump Administration is expanding Social Security’s ability and funding to look at a disability applicant’s Facebook or social media accounts. This, however, is nothing new as Social Security has always been able to investigate issues like this. However, there is now more of a focus on this “evidence.”

If, for example, a picture on Facebook shows you walking around a mall when you have stated you have problems ambulating, it will be evidence that you can ambulate. It might even negate another picture which shows, for example, you using a four pronged cane at a birthday party. It might also show that sometimes, you need a cane, and sometimes not. Thus, Facebook pictures can be used as evidence against you yet it also seems that pictures typically won’t be used by Social Security if they support your case. This might reflect an inherent bias some may have that people are exaggerating their disabilities. It is ironic that Social Security never admits most people are not exaggerating their symptoms, or that many people actually win after Social Security has asserted for months and even years that the claimant is not disabled. It is a tragic stereotype to presume people are exaggerating their symptoms, or acting with fraudulent intent. Little mention is made in the media of the very large number of people who have legitimate disabilities who are waiting for large amounts of time for their hearing, or some people even dying before their hearing date while Social Security is saying they don’t have a disability. Instead, many simply like to focus on the bad claims.

In short though, social media pictures are fair game for Social Security, so think twice about posting a picture. See a doctor, see an attorney and recognize the best evidence of a disability comes from a medical provider.