I Am On Disability. If I Leave The House, Will My Employer Have Someone Follow Me To See If I Am Really Disabled?

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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: Sep 15, 2020

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Maybe, but it depends on the type of claimed disability, the employer, and the insurance company involved. Usually the determination would be made by doctors based on medical data and (possibly) a medical examination and tests. However, employers and insurance companies know that many people who can in fact work would like to get paid for doing nothing, or while working at another job. Therefore, insurance companies and others who pay benefits sometimes use investigators to interview neighbors, speak with friends at work, and to conduct surveillance, sometimes for days at a time. If you are claiming to be bedridden and are observed out working in the garden, or you are a truck driver and seen picking up your kids at school, you could have a problem. The insurance company will often claim that even if you are not fully healthy, you no longer meet their definition of disability and could return to work, and so they cut off benefits and then you have a battle on your hands. If they suspect fraud, the consequences are often even worse.

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