To combat the rise of fraudulent disability claims, a new proposal would allow the Social Security Administration to monitor the social media accounts of those who wish to or currently claim Social Security Disability benefits.
In an article titled “On Disability and on Facebook? Uncle Sam Wants to Watch What You Post”, domestic correspondent Robert Pear of The New York Times suggests that the monitoring of an individual’s pictures and posts could help identify any contradictions with their disability claim.
“If, for example, a person claimed benefits because of a back injury but was shown playing golf in a photograph posted on Facebook, that could be used as evidence that the injury was not disabling” Mr. Pear writes.
Proponents of the proposal argue that monitoring social media sites could help curb the number of fraudulent claims, something the Social Security Administration has traditionally been plagued with. The Times reports that, in their most recent financial report from 2017, Social Security overpaid $3.4 billion in benefits to those who did not deserve it.
Opponents of the proposal argue that information posted by individuals isn’t always accurate or up-to-date; pictures and posts that are shared by an individual may not be recent and may not reflect their current state of disability.
The proposal is one of many put forth in the Trump administration’s newly released fiscal budget plan and is expected to be implemented by 2020.
Read the full article “On Disability and on Facebook? Uncle Sam Wants to Watch What You Post” by Robert Pear for The New York Times here.