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.


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.