Can the Social Security Administration spy on me if I file a Social Security disability claim?

In most cases, the Social Security Administration will not spy on you. Instead, your initial Social Security disability eligibility will depend on your application and supporting evidence. After you begin receiving Social Security disability, the agency may rely on continuing disability reviews to determine if you remain disabled Investigator With a Magnifying Glass and Computerand eligible for benefits.

However, if the Social Security Administration notices any red flags with your application, then the agency may decide to look into whether you are really disabled through online and in-person surveillance.

How the Social Security Administration May and May Not Investigate You

If the Social Security Administration decides that there is any reason to doubt your claim, then it may have investigators:

  • Look at your social media accounts. If the Social Security Administration thinks that you are exaggerating or lying about your medical condition, investigators may check your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts to see what you are posting. If you are doing things that are inconsistent with your injury or illness, then the Social Security Administration may doubt your claim. What is posted on social media can be taken out of context or misinterpreted. Therefore, it is often a good idea to avoid posting on social media and regularly check your accounts to see what you are tagged in that could be misconstrued and interfere with your disability claim.
  • Follow you. In some cases, the Social Security Administration may send investigators to take photographs or video footage of you in public places. The goal is to catch you doing something that you should not be able to do because of your medical condition. For example, depending on your specific conditions, you may or may not be able to go out for a run or run errands and video of you doing either of things could damage your disability application.

Even if the Social Security Administration suspects you are lying about your disability, the agency cannot take photos or video surveillance of you inside your home where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Be Prepared but Not Scared for a Social Security Investigation

If you, your doctor, and your Social Security disability lawyer are honest, then you don’t need to worry. The Social Security Administration rarely uses surveillance. However, even if the Social Security Administration decides to spy on your social media accounts or follow you in person, the investigators won’t find anything inconsistent with your disability application. Therefore, the best way to prepare for a possible Social Security investigation is to tell the truth about your health and to always act consistently with the limitations your doctors suggest.

You won’t be notified in advance of Social Security surveillance. The agency doesn’t want to warn you of its actions because it doesn’t want you to change your behavior. Instead, the Social Security Administration is looking for a reason to deny your disability claim. Surveillance is just one way for the agency to meet this goal.

Our experienced Social Security lawyers have a different goal. We want to help you get the disability benefits that you’ve earned through your years of hard work and that you need because of your permanent illness or injury.

Keefe Disability Law represents people applying for initial disability benefits or appealing Social Security disability denials in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. We answer the phone when people call our office, we believe in educating our clients and letting them know what to expect, and we fight hard to get them the benefits that they deserve.

We encourage you to learn more about your rights and the Social Security disability benefits process by contacting our Massachusetts disability lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are happy to meet with you in our conveniently located Natick office or by phone. We look forward to sharing more information about how to get the disability benefits you might deserve.

 

John L. Keefe
Connect with me
Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer