Next, we’ll tackle the subject of Social Security and retirement benefits, a program which keeps 15 million American seniors above the poverty line. We’ll examine how a person becomes eligible to collect retirement benefits, how to calculate retirement benefits, and how Social Security operates for those who are self-employed.
In Module 3, we’ll explain Social Security’s disability benefits program, which has provided billions of dollars in financial assistance to injured workers. We’ll differentiate the Social Security Disability Insurance Program from the Supplemental Security Income Program, which is needs-based, and lay out how one qualifies for SSDI benefits.
Families and Social Security benefits is the subject of our fourth module. Here, we’ll approach the benefits available to a breadwinner’s family members such as spouses and children, and we’ll examine the family maximum, which is a limit on retirement and disability benefits that a family may be entitled to.
In Module 5, we’ll analyze the appeals process for a Social Security benefits decision. We’ll investigate how a benefits recipient can file an appeal, the right to representation during an appeal, and each of the four levels of an appeal, which are a reconsideration, a hearing by an administrative law judge, the Social Security Appeals Council’s review, and the federal court review.
The “Medicare” component of the course first looks at the first two components of Medicare: Parts A and B, which comprise the heart of Medicare. Medicare Part C, which was added in the 1990’s, partially privatized Medicare by allowing it to be administered under Medicare Advantage Plans issued by private companies, wherein people could purchase Medicare plans that are tailored to their needs, usually at the cost of slightly higher premiums. Medicare Part D was introduced in 2003 to cover prescription drugs under Medicare, which were not covered under original Medicare. We will focus on Medicare eligibility, enrollment, timing, coverage, benefits and more. We will look at premiums, copays and coinsurance that are the responsibilities of the patients. We have designed the course to be as practical as possible so that a small investment of time can equip you with a broad understanding of Medicare and how it works. We will also cover supplemental insurance and Medigap policies, and the relationship between Medicare and additional government programs such as Medicaid and “extra help,” which provide relief for indigent Medicare recipients.
At the conclusion of this course, we hope that you will have a much firmer grasp of these “twin giant” government programs designed to assist older and disabled Americans with their basic needs.
Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.