The Dangers of Social Media and Disability Insurance Claims

It is without question that we live in a world that is often driven by social media. For a multitude of reasons people are becoming increasingly more willing to make what used to be private facets of their lives open to the public. Often the information being shared projects an image of what we want people to see as opposed to the burdens and hardships just below the surface. With the prevalence of social media this scenario can have disastrous effects for people who are on short or long term disability insurance claims- be it under employer provided ERISA governed disability policies or individually purchased disability policies.

Regardless the nature of your policy or claim there is one certainty- your disability insurance company will be searching social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. to gather additional information for review as part of its determination of your eligibility for ongoing benefits under a disability insurance policy. At Dell & Schaefer we are seeing a noticeable increase in denials of benefits, which reference information an insurance company found on a claimant’s social media account. As the vast majority of disability insurance denials are under employer provided policies governed by ERISA, the information being gathered from social media is especially harmful as the appearance of impropriety is often hard to separate yourself from. A person’s doctors may provide evidence and opinion as to the inability to work; a claimant can provide detailed narratives of restrictions and limitations related to the ability to work or even day to day activities- but all of that can be compromised by a simple Facebook search that shows pictures of people engaged in activities that an insured and his/her doctors have indicated the inability to do. The insurance companies will give a great deal of weight to physical visual proof and evidence of activity as opposed to what they are told by an insured or doctor. In a way these social media findings are the “new” video surveillance and are typically far more damaging than video surveillance.

What can you do to lessen the scrutiny of insurance companies into your daily life?

To be clear, we are certainly not saying that a person cannot have a social life or that what is found on social media pages is a complete picture of one’s physical, emotional or mental abilities- but we are warning you that the adage of appearance is everything rings very true with social media posts. The easiest step you can take to guard yourself from an insurance company viewing your accounts is to ensure you have proper privacy settings in place. Additionally, for social media accounts driven by Followers such as Twitter and Instagram be cognizant of the people you allow to follow you and the information you broadcast. Finally, the most applicable suggestion, before you post pictures or updates consider how these posts will be perceived, especially by your disability insurance carrier.

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FAQ

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

Reviews   *****

Dennis W. (Florida)

If it weren’t for Attorney Rachel Alters, I would have probably been living on the streets, living in a cardboard box, or maybe not even be here today. I was denied numerous times by my own Short Term and Long Term Insurance Company that I had paid years of premiums to. I figured that since it was my Insurance Company that I wouldn’t have any problems with submitting a claim and getting it approved. Was I wrong… Then the claims adjusters started playing head games with me each time I contact them or mailed them any additional information. Nothing seemed to matter. Eventually I would always get a rejection/denial letter in the mail. I was so irritated and frustrated as I also had to deal with my illness and go without any income for almost 2 years.

I even researched and contacted numerous local lawyers. They would either state that they wouldn’t take the case, take the case and either do nothing with the file or at a later date contact me to inform that they didn’t practice in that particular area. This included all the Attorneys and Firms that you see advertising on the television, including the Large Law Firms. Theses firms actually didn’t have the expertise nor the experience in the area of Traumatic Brain Injury, as it was a fairly new unknown area. This was prior to the publicizing of Traumatic Brain Injuries regarding NFL Football Players committing suicide (retired or ex-football players) as well as Professional Boxers. Now all of the sudden those same Attorneys and Large Law Firms are advertising for cases with Traumatic Brain Injuries and Insurance Disability Claims like they dealt with them in the past, which is definitely not the case.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. So I went researching on the internet and found Dell & Schaefer and watched their videos and so on. I contacted their company and was given an appointment with Attorney, Rachel Alters. She went to bat for me. Fought the Giant (Insurance Company) and won, whereas all these other Attorneys and Large Firms wouldn’t even touch my case. Attorney, Rachel Alters was even willing the take the case to court. She went to battle against a Large Insurance Company and won without going to court!

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