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Do you fear your long-term disability insurer is stalking you?

Have you received a Facebook or LinkedIn friend request from a stranger? Have former co-workers called to let you know they were interviewed about you by an insurance company? Perhaps you've noticed an unusual number of photographers in your neighborhood recently.

Do you suspect your long-term disability insurance company has you under surveillance? If you do, unfortunately, you're probably right. It happens all the time. It's part of the hardball game some insurance companies play.

Their behavior may not meet the legal definition of stalking, but it can feel that way. It may even be intentional: some companies engage in these tactics because they hope you will drop your claim.

Why would a long-term disability insurance company put me under surveillance?

It's extremely common for LTD insurers to use surveillance, and they often put someone on the case right away. The main reason is that LTD claims can cost them a lot of money and they're hoping to prove you aren't as disabled as you claim.

Private investigators and surveillance companies are only too willing to hang around your neighborhood hoping to catch you doing something to limit or invalidate your disability claim. If you have a back injury that keeps you from lifting more than a few pounds, for example, they may take photos or videos of you holding something that appears heavy.

Often enough, they will even troll you on social media. If you've posted pictures of your last family barbeque, the investigator may claim you helped out too much for a disabled person. They're hoping to catch you out.

What should I do if I suspect I'm under surveillance by an insurance company

The truth is, these tactics do work. Disability insurance companies are known to spend hundreds of millions on tactics like surveillance, forensic accountants and so-called medical "experts." They wouldn't spend that time and money if it wasn't getting them the results they want.

Even though you're genuinely unable to work, you need to be aware of how you're presenting yourself. You need to do what is best for you in terms of your health and quality of life, and you should never feel you need to exaggerate or lie. That said, be circumspect about what you show the outside world, whether it's at home, in public, or on social media.

Companies have the right to verify the validity of the claims they pay. When they attempt to harass or intimidate people with legitimate claims, however, they may be acting in bad faith.

If you believe your disability insurance company has unfairly delayed or denied your legitimate claim, a good disability insurance attorney can help you fight back. Don't be intimidated by insurance company tactics. You've suffered enough.

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