For more information about disability appeals in Virginia, please download a free copy of my book, Don't Try This at Home: A Guide to Your Disability Insurance Appeal, from our website. You can also contact BenGlassLaw by calling (703) 584-7277 or by filling out a form at

Have you suffered from a disability that has left you unable to return to work? Make sure that you keep your lawyer in the loop about the extent of your injury because many insurance companies will conduct surveillance to ensure that you are truthful in your claim.  

In 2002, I represented a client who was the subject of an investigation after he filed a disability claim with his insurance company. The insurance company's research included a national database search to review our client's personal information, like name, birthdate and social security number. An Internet search to determine if the claimant conducted any online activity. Multiple neighborhood canvasses to find neighbors familiar with the subject's activities, if our client was working or not, etc. A college canvass to determine if the claimant has been involved in any academic institutions, which may contradict his alleged claims. A hospital canvass to determine if the subject has ever been involved in any situation that resulted in a medical visit. Finally, a Worker's Compensation Search to determine if the claimant has made any claims since his date of loss.

It seems dramatically excessive, but these are the lengths that an insurance company will go to in order to try and prove that the claimant is not disabled, and that he is not entitled to compensation.

Before we take a new case, we share this information with our potential clients and ask them to be honest with us about the details of their disability claim. We have seen disability claims sunk when the claimant posted images of themselves golfing to Facebook, or when their neighbors testify they were doing yard work.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney