As previously noted, the Social Security Administration is considering using claimants’ social media profiles as a way to determine true disability. That is a terrible idea, for a number of reasons.
In its budget request to Congress last year, SSA said it was considering using social media more frequently when assessing disability claims. But the visibility of a picture is not proof of when it was posted. And few people typically post pictures of themselves not looking their best.
Also, many disabilities are invisible to the naked eye. Conditions such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and bi-polar disorder cannot be seen in pictures.
The current use of social media is much more restrictive than the alternative recently proposed. If a disability examiner sees something suspicious in an application, he or she can refer these claims to SSA’s inspector general. At that point, social media can be used to confirm suspicions.
Fraudulent claims are definitely a problem. But using unreliable evidence that cannot be evaluated appropriately will only lead to increased injustices for truly deserving claimants.