What’s the solution? Should you immediately stop posting anything online if you become injured or disabled? Should you never post anything online ever? What if someone tags you in an old photo when you were more active? How do you protect yourself?
The first thing you should do is just be aware that more people may be seeing what you post than just your friends and family. Look at everything you post through the lens of anyone who has to judge whether or not you are injured or disabled. Don’t post anything that you would be embarrassed for one of these people to see.
Depending on how much you like posting your life online, you might not want to stop posting. The change in your Facebook or Twitter account from when you were healthy to when you were disabled could be compelling evidence in your case. Before, you might have been posting about going hiking or camping most weekends. Now you post about staying in and going to doctor’s appointments.
You don’t need to turn your accounts into a diary of your disabled life - that may not be appropriate for your friends and family. The details of your daily health and condition are probably best left to private journals for your doctor and your case. Just be aware that your friends are family may not be ready to hear about daily migraines and how difficult it was to shower today.
If you’re not sure about whether something is appropriate to post, or you want your friends and family only to see the best sides of your life, then it is best not to post very much while you are applying for disability. Judges, insurance companies, attorneys and others know how to use the computer just as well as you do and you don’t want to lose your case because of some Facebook posts you made trying to make your life look better than it is right now. If someone posts an old photo of you when you were more active, just add a comment about how you wish you could do that activity now.
Social media can be a great resource for you while you’re waiting for disability payments. There is information everywhere and others who are going through the same thing are available to share their experiences. Because most people who are disabled find it difficult to leave the home, the internet can be an easy way to socialize with others in similar positions. I’ve had clients attend church, support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and talk easily to friends and family in other countries through the internet.
If you are careful on the internet and are aware that anything you post might be used against you, it can be a great resource for disabled people and their families. For more information, please contact The Foster Law Firm at (480)621-7231.