disability benefits recipient

Surveillance of Social Security Disability Benefit Recipients

When a disability prevents you from being able to work, receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a lifesaver. Those who apply and receive SSD benefits may think that they have done everything they need to worry about in terms of their eligibility. Private insurance companies often hire investigators to follow individuals around in order to determine if they are doing anything that they purport to be unable to do. In fact, sometimes these investigators follow benefit recipients everywhere from the grocery store to the gas station. 

This begs the question of whether SSD benefit recipients are also the subjects of surveillance. While it’s not a regular occurrence for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to conduct surveillance on anyone, this is not to say that they can’t or that they won’t. It’s quite the opposite, actually. 

After filing for disability benefits, the SSA does look for any proof of your claimed disability. When the SSA believes that there is reason to investigate you (e.g. that you are no longer disabled), it too may look more closely into you. 

Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR)

Though surveillance isn’t its thing, the SSA does regularly conduct Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR) in order to discover whether a claimant is still entitled to receive his or her SSD benefits.

The point of conducting CDRs is to find which SSD recipients have medically improved after filing for benefits and are therefore no longer eligible. This is a serious matter. Plus, should a CDR show that you have committed some type of criminal activity, your case will be handed over to the Department of Justice (DOJ) so that it may conduct a criminal investigation and prosecute you should that be necessary. 

Surveillance Methods

So if the SSA doesn’t always use traditional surveillance, how does it keep a close eye on you? There are various methods:

  • Social media review – One of the easiest ways for the SSA to catch people in a lie regarding the status of their disability is to monitor their social media accounts. This has become more and more common as social media has exploded. Keep in mind that even if it’s not the case, your social media can paint a picture of you – whether that picture is accurate or not.  

When you have a disability that prevents you from working as you have, SSD benefits can really make a huge difference in your life. However, applying for SSD benefits is not always easy. This is why it’s generally in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced disability law attorney.

The PA SSD Attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP Can Help

When you are struggling with a disability, you may not know what to do. Luckily, the attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your ability to make ends meet. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!