If you have a disability insurance claim being heard by a judge, you may want to keep this warning in mind: Judges, lawyers and insurance companies are befriending claimants and keeping tabs on status messages in an effort to find any information or pictures that may refute your claims of having suffered from a debilitating injury.

Recently, in the case of Purvis v. Commissioner of Social Security, a federal judge had to rule on a case that pitted a woman against the Social Security Office. The judge presiding over this issue wasn’t sure if the plaintiff’s story of not being able to work due to her asthma was true after the judge saw the woman’s Facebook profile picture: The woman was smoking in her profile picture. When plaintiffs file disability insurance claims, they expect a certain amount of investigation to take place by the insurance company and its lawyers, but most people would never think to be careful about what they write on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter because they assume they have more privacy than they really do. That is a big mistake nowadays, and one that could cost you a lot of money in the long run. A good lawyer like Greg Jones would not have let that happen.

A footnote in the case files shows that the judge wrote, “Although the Court remands the ALJ’s decision for a more detailed finding, it notes that in the course of its own research, it discovered one profile picture on what is believed to be Plaintiff’s Facebook page where she appears to be smoking. Profile Pictures by Theresa Purvis, Facebook, [link omitted because it’s broken] (last visited Feb. 16, 2011). If accurately depicted, Plaintiff’s credibility is justifiably suspect.”

Insurance companies like Cigna, Unum and its subsidiaries have been denying legitimate claims for years, and they have terminated legitimate cases for reasons that are far less obvious than what was written here. If you feel that your disability insurance claim has been unfairly denied or terminated, contact disability insurance lawyer Greg Jones today for a free consultation. Let me fight hard for your insurance claim and help prevent you from making the kind of “little”mistakes that can cost you your disability insurance benefits.