Today, around seventy percent of the United States population uses some kind of social media website to connect with their friends and share updates about their lives. Consequently, users have the ability to relay vast amounts of information about themselves to others. Experts advise social media users to exercise extreme caution, especially when they are currently involved in the claims process, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits cases. For more information on why you should avoid social media during your SSDI case, please continue reading, then contact an experienced New Jersey SSD attorney today. Some reasons you should avoid social media during your SSDI case include:
Your content may contradict your testimony
You should expect that the Social Security Administration (SSA) can and will use everything at its disposal to discredit your case. Without realizing it, your posts may damage your claim. For instance, if you claim that you have a broken arm, but you post on social media that you are going bowling, the SSA will challenge your injuries. When you make an SSDI claim, you must always be completely honest about your injuries and losses.
Your check-ins betray you
Check-ins on Facebook, Foursquare and other sites can show that you are participating in activities that contradict the injuries you are claiming. For instance, you should not check in at your weekly yoga class if you are claiming you have limited mobility. Furthermore, location posts can count as evidence against you.
Damaging comments from family and friends
Even the content that witnesses post on social media can hurt your case. They might contradict your claims about your injuries, or make statements about how much money you want to receive for your disability. Besides painting you in a bad light, these things can damage your evidence in the case.
Social media posts are admissible as evidence
While social media posts are not automatically admissible as evidence, the court may render them admissible if it determines the posts follow your state’s Rules of Evidence. Typically, courts categorize out-of-court statements as inadmissible hearsay. However, they routinely make exceptions for the statements of a party. When you are bringing an SSDI claim, your statements to others outside of court are admissible against you because you are a party to the case. In that scenario, the court will count your social media posts as statements. They may also admit statements by family and friends on social media if they contradict the same person’s testimony in court.
Complete privacy is a myth
Even if you make your account private, the SSA may ask your friends to give them the information voluntarily or they may take advantage of your state’s Discovery Rules. With a court order, the SSA may have access to your entire social media history.
If this seems daunting, speak with Sheryl Gandel Mazur, Esq. as soon as possible.
Contact a skilled New Jersey SSD Lawyer Today
With over thirty years of experience serving the entire state, our firm has the ability to help you with any SSD matter. Contact The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur for a free case evaluation.