Why SSA Is Keeping Surveillance On Your Social Media Account?


Social security is one of the biggest federal programs and is funded by the taxpayers of the country. It is the colossal income source for people falling in diverse domains like a retiree, handicap, etc. this program is active to help people of the society who are vulnerable. SS program is consistently being expanded to help people in the coming decades many will get benefits through it. On the other hand, to avoid frauds SSA is also taking a number of steps as already mentioned it is one of the biggest financial assistance offered to people making it difficult to recognize frauds.

why-ssa-keeping-surveillance-on-your-social-media-accounts

What the government is up to?

The federal might be watching you and if they are not social security administration definitely has an eye on your social media accounts. SSA wants to expand their surveillance and there is no better source of it, then your social media accounts. It is definitely not a threat, but an intelligent step to separate genuine from the fraudsters. People with a disability also have their social media accounts and the purpose of monitoring is it quite helpful for them. This helps them investigate and identify fraudulent claims.

Why surveillance is taking the pace?

The actual purpose of watching your accounts is to track fraud cases so it is also important that you file a genuine claim because you cannot make fool out of your government. SSA might be using your social media content to evaluate your applications. In case you file SSB for disability SSA might be checking your Instagram, Facebook or other social networking profiles to make sure you are not faking your disability.

For instance, if you have filed a disability claim and mentioned you are not physically active, but still wandering around on your post, this might put a question on your claim. There are different criteria’s and eligibility requirements where you must fit in to receive the benefits; otherwise, your application can get rejected in the first step. 

What are the financial challenges for SS?

The SSA’sFiscal Year 2020 Budget Overview clearly addresses the possibility of boosted surveillance of social media accounts. Why is not surprising? Since the year 1970, there has been a 460% increase in disability individuals filling disability claims, unfortunately, a huge percentage of it is an absolute fraud. SSA is willing to increase their efforts to identify frauds from the genuine profiles so that only eligible people can receive financial help and not the others. SSA has to face huge financial challenges when the number of applications is increased.  The elevated burden is not only on the system, but a person with a disability has also gone through the suffering. Thus, SSA step towards social media surveillance and getting fraud evidence is certainly not a matter of surprise for the majority of us.

The abundance of data through social media surveillance

The majority of the people are having social media profiles nowadays and according to survey 69% adults are having at least one social media account. The others who do not have active accounts are related to those who are active on social media and their accounts are used by others to view the posts. One way or another you can be caught easily through social media posts. People are on social media networking sites to share content like personal information. Millions of photos are being uploaded every day on Facebook. Facebook is the most popular platform where videos and other content are viewed million times every minute. There is a strong desire in humans to share their daily experiences and this way people are interconnected and this has derived immense growth on such platforms. This is a treasure of data for SSA.

How SSA is taking advantage of social media data?

SSA wants to take full advantage of it to identify the fraud and there is again no surprise in that. This helps them peep in the personal lives of people who are filing claims to receive social security benefits. Still, there are some issues like policy application. How does it work? The personal data you post on social networking has context. People have highlights of their personal lives on social media and sometimes the things are not portrayed accurately. The majority of the people show a different image on social media which is totally opposite in real life. We all want to show us well on social media because the whole world is out there watching you and appreciating you.

Sometimes there is no context of the things people post on social media where valuable information lacks for the agency. SSA is totally aware of the context around things posted on social media and this makes decision making hard for them.

 For instance one of the leading causes of disability benefits is made for connective tissues and musculature disorders. This means it is easy to identify things via videos and images.  In case an applicant files claim through disability like chronic fibromyalgia, but there is a current video where they won a marathon, this is a not relevant and the people doing this will never be regarded as a disabled person. On the other hand side, the person will always show the happy side of their lives on social media. 

Final Verdict 
Regardless of what SSA is doing to understand and investigate fraud, it is our personal duty to portray what is real and not fake just to receive easy money. You must also encourage others to do the same. It is a reminder that the wrong things always have bad consequence in the future. There are several other policies being developed to help eligible people gain benefits and not the frauds. If you know such people, then it is your duty to alert the agency and help others who are actually in need of social security benefits. 
This is not a threat if you have a genuine excuse to receive social security benefits. Just make sure that all the information you are providing is 100% legitimate and you will easily get what you deserve.