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Investigators Who Conduct Surveillance on Disability Claimants

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Some professional investigators are better than others – but whether your claim is being investigated by a skilled and experienced pro or a newbie, you need to protect yourself when the disability insurance company adds surveillance to your claim:

1 – Some surveillance companies are legitimate, licensed and experienced. You’ll never see the good ones coming, and there’s not much you can do about that. But if you notice an unmarked van or car hanging around your neighborhood, maybe one that has seen better days, it’s possible that your case has been assigned to a local freelance investigator. Be cautious. The professional will understand the rules of the engagement. The freelancer may not.

2 – Good investigators understand that it takes a few days – 2, 3 days with about 8 to 10 hours per day – to get a real look at your level of activity. Bad ones will take a few photos of you over a four hour period and claim that this is your daily activity level.

3 – Social media checks are part and parcel of the disability claim investigation. We don’t care how many privacy settings you use, if you are posting on any social media, the investigators are going to find you. Don’t think they don’t check Instagram, Vines, Periscope, Vimeo – if you know about it, they know about it also.

4 – Document your visits to your doctor, physical therapy and any other appointments outside of the home. We know that people who are not working in an office setting may not feel like they need to keep an appointment book. If you are on claim or have filed a claim, keep a calendar that you can use if and when (more likely when) your comings and goings are questioned.

5 – You have a daily routine – so does the investigator. They often get to a claimants home in the early mornings to see if you are leaving to go to work, and the inexperienced or budget investigator will clear out after a few hours. But the experienced professional will stick around for a full eight or ten hours. Don’t think the fact that the mysterious van has disappeared around 3:00 PM means that you aren’t being videotaped.

6 – Technology has made watching, listening and tracking easier than ever before. Is it likely that the investigator can tap into the feed from video cameras located on nearby buildings? The average one may not. But if the insurance company is concerned about big exposure, it is possible that a friendly business owner might be persuaded to share their footage.

In other words, the professionals are active on behalf of their clients, the insurance companies. They are part of a team of investigators, doctors and nurses, claims adjusters and lawyers that are busy trying to make sure that the insurance company is not paying more benefits than it absolutely has to.

Your best bet – make sure that you have an experience disability insurance law firm on your side.

Jason A. Newfield

Written By:

Jason A. Newfield - Disability Insurance Attorney

Jason Newfield is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield. He has spent the majority of his legal career advocating for the rights of disabled workers. He has lectured other professionals, worked on a Federal Advisory committee, and published many articles in the field of disability insurance claims and litigation.

Learn more about Jason | See Jason’s Publications



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This is about a Social Security Disability claim.

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