Few people these days go without posting on some form of social media. This can be especially true about significant events such as a work injury. Many people want to share their ordeal and get commiseration from friends and family.
However, keep in mind that not only your nearest and dearest will be watching your feed in the time following your filing of a workers’ compensation claim.
Digital investigation is easy and cost effective
Ohio’s Board of Workers’ Compensation uses a variety of techniques to investigate claims and cut down on potential fraud. Unlike physical surveillance and many other investigative tactics, checking someone’s Facebook or Instagram account is easy, quick and inexpensive. Thus, investigators will often start off with mining your digital life for various types of information.
Do your posts contradict your claim
One clear indicator of fraud is posting pictures of yourself performing activities your claim states you cannot perform. It does not look good when a claimant states he or she can barely walk due to back pain, then posts a picture of him or herself hiking up a mountain. Likewise, investigators have caught out claimants receiving benefits due to inability to work who have posted about taking jobs.
Sometimes, a social media post may appear to contradict information you submitted on your workers’ compensation claim. This can be especially serious in the case of pictures of the injury, ensuing medical procedures or the site of the injury.
Even mere suspicions can cause a lot of trouble
While some cases can be clear-cut, in others investigators may find what they consider to be indications of fraud rather than straightforward evidence. They may decide, based on your photos, that your lifestyle is not consistent with the information in your claim, even if you are not actually doing anything inconsistent with your level of injury. Sometimes, your friends and relatives may inadvertently comment with incorrect information, which investigators may take seriously.
Avoiding social media may be your best strategy
Even if, in the end, the OBWC dismisses fraud allegations against you, most people would prefer to avoid facing such a situation altogether. In general, it is best to avoid discussing your workers’ compensation case or anything potentially related to it on social media.