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How social media can cost you workers’ compensation benefits

Unfortunately, some people file exaggerated or completely fraudulent claims for workers’ compensation. That harms not only employers and the system as a whole but workers who are legitimately injured or ill and entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

To catch workers who are defrauding the system, claims adjusters and private investigators hired by insurers often have to look no further than social media. Gone are the days when insurance companies sent out people to spy on workers’ homes to catch them shooting some hoops with their child in the driveway even though they supposedly tore their Achilles tendon.

Some people love to document seemingly every moment of their lives in pictures and videos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even YouTube. For many, the excitement of sharing their accomplishments with friends and family may cause them to forget that others may be monitoring their accounts.

If an employee is receiving workers’ comp for a severe back injury but posts a picture of himself powerlifting at the gym, the true extent (and/or cause) of his injuries could reasonably be questioned. Even if someone is smart enough not to post something like that, they can’t guarantee that a friend or someone else who happens to be present won’t post it and tag them.

What if something posted to social media (such as an old photo or video taken before your injury) gives an inaccurate representation of your true physical condition? That can lead not only to the loss of your benefits but claims of fraud. If that happens, it’s wise to consult an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney for advice and protection.

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