The GBDS GROUP BENEFITS DISABILITY SPECIALIST program will equip you with the tools you need to engage clients in meaningful dialogue about the entire group benefits product portfolio, and help you position the importance of the least understood group insurance — disability income insurance.

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About the GBDS Group Benefits Disability Specialist Designation

Too many Americans overlook the importance of protecting their most valuable asset — the ability to earn an income. As such, the role of insurance agents and advisors who focus on disability benefits is vital to the financial security of their clients. Through completion of the rigorous GBDS self-study curriculum, you gain significant expertise that benefit both your clients and your career.

Students completing the GBDS program have demonstrated extensive knowledge in a critical functional area of group benefits disability insurance practice-insurance policy coverage-and will have applied that knowledge in real-life case study exercises.

Who is it for?

The GBDS Designation is recommended for the following

Benefits of Attaining the GBDS Designation

+Increased client retention — and renewals.

+Know when to open a group disability case — and when not to.

+Demonstrate to clients the critical importance of disability insurance for their employees and themselves.

+Recognize the tell-tale signs of possible disability fraud.

+Leverage the use of core buy-up plans.

+Explain the differences between government-provided and private disability coverage.

+Design group disability plans that meet the needs of employees, employers and the insurer.

+Steer clear of regulatory issues related to disability insurance.

+Recognize which carriers are most compatible with the business you want to write.

+Understand the tax consequences of different group disability funding mechanisms.

+Optional CE credits may be available for various components of the GBDS Designation program. Contact Customer Service for instructions PRIOR to taking your exam.


The GBDS GROUP BENEFITS DISABILITY SPECIALIST curriculum is based on the most important document in the insurance industry: the insurance policy. The curriculum is presented through four Coverage Guides and five Elearning programs. Materials are adapted from expert insurance coverage materials produced by the staff of The FC&S Bulletins and Coverage Guide Series.

Program Completion

Optional CE credits may be available for various components of the GBDS Designation program. Contact Customer Service for instructions PRIOR to taking your exam.

Self Study

Authorized Insurance Academy

Curriculum Outline

I. Outline
  1. Market Overview
  2. Overcoming Resistance
  3. History of Group Disability Insurance
  4. Regulation of Group Disability Insurance
  5. Government Provided Group Disability Insurance
  6. Statutory Group Disability Insurance
  7. Fraud
  8. Provisions Common to Short-Term and Long-Term Disability
  9. Long-Term Disability (LTD) Provisions
  10. Short Term Disability (STD) Coverages
  11. Disability Program Design
  12. Service
  13. Disability Claims
  14. Core/Buy-up
  15. Voluntary
  16. STD Underwriting and Pricing
  17. LTD Underwriting and Pricing
  18. Taxation of Group Disability Benefits
  19. Influences in Group Disability Insurance