A previous post here shared a story about a proposed plan by the federal government to monitor disability benefits recipients’ social media accounts. The proposed monitoring would give the government the opportunity to use information that it found on sites like Facebook, Instagram and others to revoke disability benefits claims to those who count on them to survive. If this proposal goes through it could be devastating to millions of men, women and children, and perhaps particularly to those whose disabilities are not easily seen.
Mental illnesses like depression are often masked by their victims’ apparent physical health. A Charlotte resident with depression may be able to go to the grocery store, laugh at a joke or play with their pet all while suffering the crushing symptoms of their disease. In the event that the government found a picture of a smiling disability benefits recipient whose claim was based on depression, for example, they may lose the support they need from a literal snapshot of their everyday condition.
Depression is a serious condition that afflicts millions of people in different ways. Depression may cause its victims to lack the ability to control their emotions and outbursts. It may force them to relive painful or embarrassing moments and may drive them to contemplate taking their own lives.
Because depression may not be something that others can see, it can be disregarded or forgotten when its victims show signs of behaving normally. A single picture or sign of positivity shared on a social media site should not undo the hard work that a qualifying individual puts into their disability benefits application.
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