How Insurance Company Tracks You

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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After you file a disability benefits claim, you will need to demonstrate that you are actually disabled. Disability insurance companies do not want to pay unjustified disability payments, and in order to prevent insurance fraud, a company may keep very close track of you to make sure you qualify for disability benefits. When you submit a disability benefits claim, particularly a large one, do not be surprised if:

  • The company requires you to get a medical exam by a doctor it chooses
  • The company requires you to provide financial information such as bank statements and credit reports
  • The company communicates with doctors without talking to you
  • The company closely tracks you to make sure you are not lying about your disability

If at any point you, or your doctors, say or do something that indicates to the company that you are no longer eligible for disability benefits, then the company can stop making payments immediately.

How Companies Investigate a Disability Benefits Claim

Increased fraud with phony disability benefits claims has forced companies to become creative. It is not uncommon for companies to take the following steps:

  • Regularly talk to doctors about the status of an injury. A disability company is looking for any indication that a person claiming disability is not actually injured.
  • Hire investigators to conduct surveillance, sometimes for several days. Companies video-tape policyholders claiming to be disabled, and will cancel the disability benefits claim if a disabled individual is seen being active.
  • Follow an injured policyholder on the internet. By Googling a policyholder’s name, a company can turn up newspaper articles or social media accounts that will give an idea of a person’s activity. Facebook and Twitter accounts can be monitored for pictures and quotes

How Social Media Can Derail a Disability Benefits Claim

Almost everyone is linked to some sort of social media outlet, and with such easy access to personal information, a disability benefits claim can be derailed by a simple post or picture. Anything that raises suspicion can affect disability benefits:

  • A post or picture about physical activity when the person is supposed to be disabled
  • A post or picture that indicates a person on disability has more money than disability income can afford
  • A post or picture that indicates a person on disability benefits is working another job or taking on side work
  • A post or picture confirming that a person receiving disability is scamming the insurance company

It does not cost the insurance company anything to investigate a person using social media, and it is not difficult to do. A company may take action t to cancel a disability benefits claim if it sees any information on a social media outlet that rouses suspicion of fraud.

TIP: Even behavior that is not fraudulent can be used to deny a disability benefits claim. Refrain from posting pictures or status messages that can be construed in favor of canceling benefits.

How to Avoid Disability Benefits Fraud

When you are applying for disability or receiving benefits, do not talk about your disability benefits claim online or in emails. A simple post on a social media site or in an email that is forwarded to the wrong person could subject you to independent medical exams and unwarranted surveillance. Follows these tips to make sure that you retain your disability benefits and to ensure you are not unjustly scrutinized by your disability insurance company:

  1. Do not talk about your disability online or in emails.
  2. Make sure you answer all mail, emails and phone calls from your disability insurance company in a timely manner. Also return all documentation requested promptly.
  3. If you are aware that surveillance is being conducted on your home or on yourself, make sure that you do not do anything out of the ordinary or assault the private investigator verbally or physically. Contact the police if you feel someone is following you.

Finally, contact a disability attorney if you feel the review or follow up of your disability benefit claim is turning into harassment. No one should have to endure a life of being watched or having friends’ or neighbors’ lives interrupted. A disability benefits attorney can file for a copy of the disability insurance company’s file to see what surveillance has been conducted and determine if their actions warrant further legal action for harassment or invasion of privacy. If you feel your privacy is being invaded unjustly, contact a disability benefits attorney by clicking here to have one review your case for free.

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