Surveillance and Long Term Disability Claims
If you’ve applied for Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits, then your insurer may place you under surveillance. Any photos or footage may then be used in an attempt to undermine your claim. If this has happened to you, we recommend that you contact our lawyers at the earliest available opportunity.
Do insurers really place people under surveillance?
Yes! Insurers are profit-driven companies and will always look for ways to save money. That is why they carefully scrutinise each and every claim, particularly Long Term Disability claims. The insurer is looking for a reason to deny the application and avoid spending additional funds. Insurance companies have various tools in their arsenal to achieve this goal, one of which is to place the policy-holder under surveillance.
This may sound extreme. Surveillance operations are more typically associated with the police and special forces. But actually, it’s a very common tactic employed by insurance companies. If you’ve applied for Long Term Disability benefits, or you are currently receiving benefits, then it is very likely that someone is watching you. Your insurer may hire a private investigator to follow you, set up surveillance outside your home, or monitor your social media accounts.
The idea is that the insurer will catch you behaving in a way that contradicts the information you provided on the application form. For example, imagine that you said you cannot perform any kind of physical activity. If you are then seen playing a round of golf, this will damage your case. The insurer will use this as evidence to prove that your claim has little merit and that you are not entitled to LTD benefits, as you say you are.
What should you do?
With this in mind, you should be very careful about what you say on your application form. Tell the truth and be specific about what you can and cannot do. Also, do not post anything on social media that could work against you. For instance, do not post a photo of yourself on a 5km hike if you say you cannot walk for more than 100m.
If your claim is denied, then it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The problem with surveillance is that the photos and/or video footage are taken out of context. While you may have carried your grocery shopping home, you might have then spent the next day in bed in total agony. However, the surveillance does not show the aftermath.
A lawyer can help you appeal the decision, gathering the necessary evidence to prove your claim. Just because the insurer has damaging surveillance footage, does not necessarily mean that your claim has no hope. It is simply a matter of presenting the right medical evidence, along with more detailed information about your disability.
If your Long Term Disability benefits have been denied, contact us as soon as possible. You only have a limited amount of time to make an appeal.Go back to Blog