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Insurance Co. Cuts Woman's Benefits Due to Facebook Photos

Posted by on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:05 PM
  • 16 Replies

Insurance Co. Cuts Woman's Benefits Due to Facebook Photos

Friday, November 20, 2009

Global Montreal: A Quebec woman on long-term sick leave is taking her insurer to court over a decision to cut her benefits based, according to her, on photos she posted on Facebook.

quebec woman looking at facebookKier Gilmour, Canwest News Service

Nathalie Blanchard, 29, is on leave from her job at IBM in Bromont, Que., since she was diagnosed with severe depression in February 2008.

But her benefits were suddenly cut off at the end of October. When she called to inquire with Manulife, her insurance company, she was told they established she was ready to go back to work based on photos they saw on Facebook.

Blanchard had posted photos of herself enjoying the beach at a sunny destination and partying in bars with her friends.

"They didn't ask her to explain those photos before making their decision," said Blanchard's lawyer Thomas Lavin.

Lavin said the Eastern Townships woman was encouraged by her doctor to take small vacations and go out more to try and forget about her worries and integrate herself back into her social network.

Blanchard is going to file a claim in Quebec Superior Court for wrongful dismissal and to seek damages against Manulife.

"She's in a fragile position to begin with and this has certainly not helped her recovery," her lawyer said Thursday.

Lavin said Blanchard also saw her mortgage insurance cut off because either Manulife or her employer called her financial institution to let them know what they saw on Facebook.

"That forced her to sell her house because she can't afford to pay her mortgage, her credit has gone down the tubes and her reputation has been damaged. She's not having a good time," he said.

What people post on social networking sites like Facebook is increasingly being used against them in legal proceedings or criminal investigations.

Manulife acknowledged they are using information on such sites to investigate clients.

"We carefully assess and pay all valid claims, plus we would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on websites such as Facebook," the insurer noted in a written statement sent to Canwest News Service.

Lavin said despite repeated requests from him and Blanchard, Manulife has refused to give them the evidence to back up their decision.

Earlier this year, a British Columbia court ruled that a woman who claimed that a car accident left her unable to enjoy her favourite activities should have removed her Facebook photos that proved otherwise.

Photos of Mirae Mayenburg hiking and cycling were entered as evidence in her court case against the Insurance Corp. of B.C.



Grrrrrrrrrrr!!!

 


by on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:05 PM
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Replies (1-10):
wells75904
by Member on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:09 PM

I think its funny.....if she can party, play on the beach and whatnot she can go to work, she was trying to screw the system and got caught

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Randi02
by Bronze Member on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:10 PM

#1- Keep your profile private

#2- Why live off of your employer benefits if you are able to go out to the bars and get drunk with friends? It's been almost a year. This is her own fault.

#3- The company states they do not deny or terminate claims based on these sites alone. There has to be more to it.


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623Mexicana
by on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:12 PM


Quoting wells75904:

I think its funny.....if she can party, play on the beach and whatnot she can go to work, she was trying to screw the system and got caught


 exactly.. don't feel sorry for her.. it sounds exactly like fraud to me.. she is lucky she isn't facing charges for this..

MylaRocknrolla
by Member on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:13 PM

 Agree

Quoting wells75904:

I think its funny.....if she can party, play on the beach and whatnot she can go to work, she was trying to screw the system and got caught


stormcris
by Christy on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:13 PM

Dangerous game they are playing stating a person is or is not depressed based on a few photos. Most people who are clinically depressed can do these things but cannot keep their mind straight long enough to function at work. That is where the disability comes in along with the chronic pain, and multiple other accompaning syptoms. Depression can kill you, and it does not require suicide to do so.

needhope
by Member on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:16 PM

yea I agree with keeping your social profile on private, otherwise the world can view you,

i dont understand why people put the detials of their whole life then anyone on earth can view it - dangerous!

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tericared
by on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:17 PM


Quoting stormcris:

Dangerous game they are playing stating a person is or is not depressed based on a few photos. Most people who are clinically depressed can do these things but cannot keep their mind straight long enough to function at work. That is where the disability comes in along with the chronic pain, and multiple other accompaning syptoms. Depression can kill you, and it does not require suicide to do so.

I agree with the woman with the depression.....

But the woman with physical problems? If she can hike and do other things how can she be having physical trouble?

stormcris
by Christy on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:19 PM

OH yea she is SOL sorry that was her stupidity... I wrote something about that and deleted it and forgot to rewrite it.

Quoting tericared:


Quoting stormcris:

Dangerous game they are playing stating a person is or is not depressed based on a few photos. Most people who are clinically depressed can do these things but cannot keep their mind straight long enough to function at work. That is where the disability comes in along with the chronic pain, and multiple other accompaning syptoms. Depression can kill you, and it does not require suicide to do so.

I agree with the woman with the depression.....

But the woman with physical problems? If she can hike and do other things how can she be having physical trouble?


sallymoon
by Member on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:23 PM

I have suffered from severe depression for over a decade, and while I know how debilitating it can be, I do not see how it can qualify for long term disability.  I can see maybe needing a month or two when things are really bad, but not a year.  I didn't even take more than 2 months off when my first son died, and I needed the 2 months to heal physically.  Life goes on, and sometimes you have to suck it up and really push yourself to do what you need to do.


LancesMom
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2009 at 10:26 PM

I don't think insurance companies should be making medical decisions for anybody.

I agree they do get scammed and if they have physical proof. (Like pictures of a guy with a bad back chopping wood etc etc). But to look at someones pictures and judge w/o checking into it and making a decision she is "OK" is absolutely wrong!

 


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