How Do I Know If My Disability Company Is Conducting Video Surveillance of Me?

I always tell my clients that they should assume at all times that they are under video surveillance by their disability insurance company. On a daily basis I receive calls from disability claimants that think they are being followed by an investigator. I always tell these claimants that they should immediately call the police and report the situation. According to most state laws, a licensed private investigator is required to notify the local police department that they will be conducting video surveillance. Unfortunately, some of these investigators do not comply with local laws. The second thing to do if you suspect you are being recorded or followed is to immediately call your disability carrier and ask them if they are currently conducting surveillance on you. You should also send a letter stating that you think someone is following you and you want to know if the company hired someone to follow you.

PenVideoCameraVideo camera technology has improved tremendously in recent years and investigators are using video cameras that look like a pen or glasses. Discrete video cameras are also mounted on rear view mirrors in cars. We are seeing video surveillance films where the investigator is walking directly behind the claimant for 10 minutes at a time. VideoGlassesAs I have stated numerous times, video surveillance is rarely going to be a problem for a claimant, unless the claimant is seen doing something that he or she has told the disability company they cannot do. Video surveillance of disability claimants continues to be the number one reason to support a disability claim denial.

Our disability insurance lawyers regularly help disability claimants to manage all aspects of their claim for disability insurance benefits. We always offer a free consultation to discuss your claim. We welcome you to post a comment on our website to share your experience with video surveillance in your disability insurance claim.

Comments (16)

  • Kevin, I am sorry to hear all that you are going through and the stress this is causing you. The policy governing your claim likely does allow Unum to conduct an in-person interview with you, however, it does not have to be at your home and can be at a place you feel comfortable. Also, so long as they are not violating any law, they are allowed to conduct surveillance. With regards to the upcoming interview, please contact us so that we can discuss it and our ability to assist you through this process and with your claim.

    Alex Palamara Feb 7, 2020  #16

  • Hi, I am currently receiving LTD from UNUM. I used to work as a Radiologist Tech at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, TN. for about 10 years. Than I started having grand-mal seizures. After being hospitalized to Vanderbilt’s epilepsy center for a week, I was diagnosed with refractory epilepsy. (which doesn’t go away or is controlled by medication) I applied for benefits which I received in 2018, and than they were offset once I started receiving SSDI. Upon UNUM request. So, I received two emails from UNUM today stating they were unable to reach me by phone twice, but left messages for me about a month ago. The second email said they were sending someone to my home to conduct an interview. So, I know for a fact I did not receive a phone call(s) or messages from Unum, and yes my correct phone # is on my claim file.

    I went and checked my phone logs through my provider on the exact dates and there are no calls from Unum. Secondly, they have the interviewers name on the document, so I checked it out. Turns out the interviewer coming to my home is a P.I. who used to be a law enforcement officer that specialized in investigations, interrogations, and fraud! I have no idea why UNUM would falsify in a letter document about not being able to get in contact with me, and now their sending a P.I. to investigate me for fraud when I’ve been diagnosed with refractory epilepsy and continue to have seizures constantly. They have always received all my medical records from Vanderbilt Med Center when they request, which is a lot. This whole situation has caused a lot of stress on me and has actually increased my seizure activity. Which does state in my Medical records that stress can/will cause increased seizure activity.

    So, I don’t know what to do. UNUM has made me feel like a criminal, I’m under a lot of stress, and I have no idea why they would lie about something when I can prove it through records? The worst part of it all is I have 3 children and two are very young. I do not want a P.I. trying to survey me, my home or my family. Do I need a disability attorney ASAP? Sorry for the very long question, any advice would be very helpful. Thank You in advance!

    Kevin Feb 7, 2020  #15

  • JB, if a disability insurer lies to you regarding surveillance being conducted on you, or if they lie to you regarding any matter, I believe that it would certainly call into question their claims handling practices and conduct. You could file a complaint with your state department of insurance to investigate and determine whether their conduct violated any state insurance laws or laws concerning good faith business practices.

    Cesar Gavidia Mar 1, 2019  #14

  • Does an insurance company have to answer honestly when you ask them if they’ve been following/surveilling you?

    This past week, I’ve had two instances at the same grocery store where men were tracking me, while on their phones. The second time, another woman noticed it and thought it was incredibly suspicious. After reading several articles on your blog and thinking through courses of action, I called my insurance company to ask them and let them know that I would be going to the police to file a report. Though I know they don’t have to tell me, are they allowed to lie?

    Twelve years ago, I was also followed by them but that time it was when I was driving. A man in a white van was riding up on sidewalks, running red lights, swerving in and out of traffic to tail me…it was frightening. However, when I called to ask, the analyst told me she was unable to tell me…which basically confirmed what I already knew. Just wondering if she had a different approach, felt bad for me (I was rather upset when I called) or if the rules have changed. Honestly, I’m tired of living like this. Especially when I have done nothing wrong but been dealt the hand of bad health. Thank you for any input you can provide.

    JB Mar 1, 2019  #13

  • Audrey, you can certainly inquire- but they have no legal duty that I am aware of to answer one way or another. Surveillance is conducted on the insured- they would have no reason or basis to follow anyone but you.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 27, 2016  #12

  • You are recommending that if you feel you are being followed to call you insurance company and ask, but do they legally have to answer? I have a 17 year old girl, I hope they are not allowed to follow her?

    Audrey Oct 24, 2016  #11

  • TJ, definitely. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we can assist you in trying to secure a lump sum buyout.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 16, 2016  #10

  • Sorry for another message….how do I negotiate $200/mo that is left on the policy? Can I hire an attorney to do that for me?

    TJ Sep 15, 2016  #9

  • Stephen
    What do I do if the insurance company is (on atty. fees)?
    Thanks. TJ

    TJ Jul 22, 2016  #8

  • TJ, they cannot withhold the amount designated as payment to your attorney by the SSA.

    Stephen Jessup Jul 12, 2016  #7

  • TJ, I have yet to see an insurance company negotiate a lower repayment amount.

    Stephen Jessup Jul 12, 2016  #6

  • Can they withhold part of the $6000 atty fees stating it took too long to get a decision? It wasn’t my fault.
    Every dollar I desperately need. The judge said the insurance company pays that fee. THANKS

    TJ Jul 11, 2016  #5

  • Stephen
    Do these companies ever negotiate a lower amount? I was the one that went thru hell to get this approved. What if I don’t pay? Thanks for your help. I honestly cannot believe these policies.

    TJ Jul 10, 2016  #4

  • TJ, the policy provision will be identified usually as “Other Income Benefits” that offset your policy.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 13, 2016  #3

  • I cannot for the life of me find anything in my Liberty LTD policy that states I must pay them back SSDI award. I have read it several times. I just don’t see it. They tried to get me to sign something awhile back but I didn’t.
    I called my old Employer and they knew nothing about paybacks and this was the benefits dept. Not sure how to proceed.

    TJ Jun 10, 2016  #2

  • When does surveillance become harassment? Our neighbors are complaining and the private investigators hired by Mutual of Omaha do not register with or notify the local law enforcement.

    Flint Sep 5, 2015  #1

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