Social Security


Welcome to LawShelf’s video course on Social Security. Social security impacts the lives of almost all Americans. Social Security provides financial assistance to older Americans who have retired, disabled workers and families who have experienced the death of a breadwinner. Our goal in this introductory-level course is to provide an overview of all that Social Security does and achieves.

In Module 1, we’ll look at the roots of the Social Security Act, how a person can obtain a Social Security number and the different components of Social Security. We will also discuss Social Security’s importance to the United States.

In our second module, we’ll tackle the subject of Social Security 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 programs, which, since their inception in 1956, have provided billions of dollars in financial assistance to injured workers. In this module, we’ll differentiate the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, which is based on the disabled worker’s earnings, from the Supplemental Security Income Program, which is needs-based, and lay out how one qualifies for these benefits.

Families and Social Security benefits are the subjects of our fourth module. We’ll approach the benefits available to a breadwinner’s family members 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 wrap up our course with an analysis of 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, including reconsideration, hearing by an administrative law judge the Social Security Appeals Council’s review and the federal court review.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.

What is a video-course?

A LawShelf video-course is an in-depth series of presentations on a discreet legal topic. LawShelf video-courses focus on practical legal information and applications and are each designed to familiarize the viewer with a legal topic quickly and efficiently.

Who should take a video-course?

Our video courses are designed for professionals such as attorneys, paralegals, corporate officers and financial professionals, as well as laypeople looking to deepen their knowledge of particular areas of law. The courses allow you to acquire the specific knowledge and skills that you need without the expense and time commitment of going “back to school” for a degree. 

How do I learn?

Video courses are divided into 5 or 6 modules.  Each module contains a video lesson (usually about 15 minutes long) and a series of self-test questions that you can use to practice and make sure that you understand the material.

How do I complete a video-course?

To complete a video-course, you must pass a 10-question multiple-choice examination by scoring 70% or higher.  The questions on the exam are randomly selected from the self-test question sets for the various modules. You can retake an exam as many times as you need to, though you will not get the same questions each time since the questions are drawn from an exam bank.

How long will it take me to complete a video-course?

Between watching the modules, doing the self-test practice questions, reviewing the material and taking the final exam, we estimate that completing a video-course requires a time investment of 4-5 hours.  The courses are designed to get straight to the point. We’re cognizant that your time is valuable, and we condense the information you need to know to comprehensively cover a subject into as little time as practical.

Is there limit to how many video-courses I can take or complete?

No. A LawShelf subscription enables you to access any and all LawShelf content, including all video-courses. You can take courses as quickly or slowly as your time allows.

Do I receive any recognition for completing a video-course?

Once you complete the course by passing the final exam, you will be awarded a digital badge to display as evidence of your training and accomplishment.

How will a digital badge help me? 

Modern educational trends are moving away from traditional classroom-based course completion models and towards skills-based education. Employers today care more about skills than ever before. LawShelf digital badges conform to the Open Badge standard and are verifiable records of your skills that can easily be shared online.

How long do I retain access to the course materials?

You retain access the modules and take the final exam as long as you are a subscriber to LawShelf.

Overview of Social Security- Module 1 of 5

Social Security Retirement Benefits- Module 2 of 5

Social Security and Disability Benefits- Module 3 of 5

Families and Social Security Benefits- Module 4 of 5

Appealing a Social Security Benefits Decision- Module 5 of 5

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.