Insurance Scuffle Around Facebook Photos


A Canadian woman diagnosed with depression and on sick leave has found her disability benefits cut off thanks, in no small part to Facebook.

Word comes from Yahoo that the insurance company involved cut disability payments on the strength of the fact that she had posted photos to her Facebook page in which she looked happy and was smiling. If it seems a little like a disproportionate response, then that might well be because it is, but the insurance company involved felt it was within her rights, and will now likely find itself on the wrong end of a legal battle.

Of course, it’s been pointed out fairly sharply that the insurance company in question didn’t appear to have made the requisite medical inquiries, which has stirred up a fairly angry response. Yahoo is quoting the attorney involved, Tom Lavin, as having said,

“The issue for me is that they stopped her disability benefits without the proper medical recommendations. Her doctor recommended she go on vacation.”

That’s pretty much the core of the whole kafuffle really; she was medically advised that she go away for a while to see if it had a positive effect on her mental health, and when it had a positive effect (however short lived) she took some photos of herself, posted them on Facebook, and got herself into some trouble.

It may well seem a fairly cut and dry case, but given the sheer amount of currency an insurance company could command if it decides it very much must win a case, the ruling could still be up in the air. Frankly, we hope she does quite well out of the case; depression likely won’t be getting any better if she loses a court case and is basically told, “You’re not actually depressed.”


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