Social Security Disability Planning

This course provides a detailed overview of the Social Security disability insurance program and explains the steps disabled workers must take to qualify for and maximize benefits. The course examines the factors the Social Security Administration considers when deciding if a person is disabled and describes how certain members of a disabled worker’s family may qualify for benefits based on that person’s work record. It also explains the various work incentives that can help disabled workers return to the workforce. And, because many individuals may also be covered by group or individual disability insurance policies as well as workers compensation, the course describes how benefits from these sources will be coordinated with Social Security.

This is an advanced level course. Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • differentiate between the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs
  • explain how the five-step sequential evaluation process is used to determine eligibility for disability benefits
  • describe how the Quick Disability Determination Process, Compassionate Allowances Program, and the Terminal Illness Program can expedite the processing of claims that are likely to receive favorable determinations
  • understand how the application date, disability onset date, and waiting period affect the start of benefits
  • explain how the receipt of other disability income from workers compensation and group and individual disability insurance policies may affect a person’s Social Security disability benefit
  • recognize when Social Security disability beneficiaries become eligible for Medicare
  • describe the special rules that apply to applicants with vision problems, end-stage renal disease, and substance abuse problems
  • understand when the spouse and dependent children of a disabled worker are eligible to receive benefits based on the worker’s earnings record
  • state the purpose of the nine-month trial work period and the extended period of eligibility
  • describe the incentives that the Ticket to Work Program provides to encourage disabled workers to return to the workforce
  • list the events that will cause Social Security disability benefits to terminate
  • understand when continuing disability reviews will be conducted
  • describe the four steps in the appeals process
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