In early 2019, the Social Security Administration was rumored to begin monitoring applicants’ and beneficiaries’ social media accounts as part of the process of evaluating disability. Many advocates for the disabled, including representatives, attorneys, organizations, and U.S. Senate, pushed back on this idea.
There are numerous reasons that a person’s social media does not represent the true picture of mental or physical health. Simply because a person posted on social media about an event does not mean it was it was the entire story or perhaps the post may have shown one action, not a recurring ability. Social Security issued a letter in December 2019 stating that they were made aware of the concerns and accordingly, decided not to propose rules regarding the use of social media in disability determinations.
Andrew Saul, Commissioner for the Social Security Administration, noted they are no longer evaluating this possibility, and have no plans to use social media to monitor disability programs. However, it is wise to consider the possibility that this issue could change at any time. Additionally, while there are no rules proposed for this issue and no plans to implement such a rule at this time, it is possible that a Social Security Adjudicator could at any time look at a person’s social media accounts and review the posts and comments, especially if the posts and comments are public.