The ease of conducting a low level investigation over the internet has led long term disability companies to regularly resort to Google searches to check on their disability insurance insureds. Most people don’t worry too much about it as they are legitimately disabled and feel that any investigation will only serve to verify their condition. Of course, this also depends on the accuracy of the things being posted about them and whether they are in the proper context. This also lies on the insurance companies’ honesty, how and if they evaluate an information rather than use it to their advantage.
Unfortunately, one cannot simply trust the internet when it comes to judging the integrity of an insurance company or the accuracy of any statement found posted. Therefore, those with ongoing disability claims should regularly Google themselves and see what they find. They should also constantly monitor social media posts, including photographs, to make sure that none contain any inaccurate or misleading information that may reflect on their disability or even ability to work.
Many disabled insureds find themselves being questioned by their insurance carriers about small businesses where they seem to hold some type of ownership. For example, a DBA (Doing Business As) certificate identifying an insured is likely to be discovered, leading to an investigation on his involvement in a business and his apparent ability to work after all. Some insurance companies even review Church websites to see if an insured with long term disability is involved in certain activities. Most people who are disabled continue to lead productive lives and want to discover what they can do despite their disabilities. Unfortunately, there are insurance companies that try to use this desire to their advantage, their reasoning being that if one has the ability to work, he has no right to collect disability benefits.
When it comes to seeking additional income, most disability plans not only allow for such a limited return to the workforce, they encourage it. However, any attempt to make such a foray into the workforce on the sly in this Internet age will most likely lead to a conflict between you and your insurance carrier.
If you ever lose your disability benefits or find yourselves investigated unfairly, please feel free to contact Bemis, Roach and Reed at (512) 454-4000 for a free consultation. We will assist you and do our best to get back the benefits you deserve.
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