The Social Security and Medicare Handbook: What You Need to Know Explained Simply


This handbook includes the provisions of the Social Security Act, regulations issued under the Act, and recent case decisions (rulings). It is an easy to understand resource for the extremely complex subject. In this new, groundbreaking, and exhaustively researched book you will learn an overview of the social security and medicare system, how benefits are currently computed, how to become insured, and how to file a claim in light of the recent law changes.

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This handbook includes the provisions of the Social Security Act, regulations issued under the Act, and recent case decisions (rulings). It is an easy to understand resource for the extremely complex subject. In this new, groundbreaking, and exhaustively researched book you will learn an overview of the social security and medicare system, how benefits are currently computed, how to become insured, and how to file a claim in light of the recent law changes.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601381323
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/18/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,393,262
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 7 Introduction: Why You Need This Book 15 Chapter 1 What Is Social Security? 21 Chapter 2 Retirement Benefits 51 Chapter 3 Disability Benefits 71 Chapter 4 Other Programs & Benefits 97 Chapter 5 Employer/Employee Responsibilities 107 Chapter 6 Programs Outside Social Security 153 Chapter 7 System In Danger 167 Chapter 8 Help! I Have Been Denied 177 Chapter 9 Insight from the Professionals 183 Chapter 10 Medicare: What Is It? 215 Chapter 11 More About Medicare 227 Chapter 12 Highlights 239 Conclusion 255 Appendix A 257 Appendix B 263 Bibliography 273 Author Dedication & Biography 285 Index 287
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2009

    A Useful Guide!

    Picture it: you've worked hard throughout your life and you're on the cusp of retirement. You have no known health issues, but you are certain they are on the horizon for one reason or another. Say your only retirement plans are to collect Social Security benefits and use Medicare to supplement your health insurance plan. What's the problem? Many of us have absolutely no idea what any of this means or how about obtaining information about the process involved with receiving these benefits.

    V.R. Leonard has written an informative, yet easy to understand book entitled, The Complete Guide to Becoming a Successful Mortgage Broker: Inside Secrets You Need to Know. Within the pages of this publication, readers can learn about:
    · The history of Social Security, and exactly what it is.
    · The different programs associated with Social Security benefits, and how people qualify for them.
    · How to apply for Social Security benefits.
    · Explanations about Medicare benefits.
    · What to do if you're denied for either Social Security or Medicare

    There are several things I really liked about this book. Number one was the fact that it was set up in an easy format of "what is this," and "what do I do when" type questions and answers. Number two was the summaries at the end of each chapter. This allowed me to peruse quickly through subjects that were of interest, and find others that I didn't realize were part of the process. And, number three, learning insights from professionals is always a benefit for me no matter what subject I'm reading about and I found it particularly useful in this case.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2009

    Great Resource

    The Social Security and Medicare Handbook is a great leaping off point for finding out more about social security and Medicare. The basics are covered and each chapter includes a summary of what was covered in the chapter ¿ which is great when you¿re looking for a quick answer. <BR/><BR/>One of the great treasures of this book is the internet reference section at the end of the book. If you have more questions than the book covers or need more detailed contact information, it¿s in the reference section.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2009

    Not good for Medicare

    Anyone looking for Medicare information should look elsewhere. Only a small portion of the book is about Medicare. That portion is poorly written, lacks organization and gives no real insight.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    What You Need to Know But Afraid to Ask!

    This book is a valuable reference; especially, when trying to understand and steer your way clear through the information on Social Security and Medicare. Isn¿t this what a reliable handbook is supposed to do? But it doesn¿t stop here; it also helps you determine if the information you receive from other sources is accurate. So, if you do encounter difficulty in getting your benefits but you are armed with this handbook, you will be prepared to handle the issue at hand by knowing where to go and what to do. <BR/><BR/>This book covers a wide range of related topics to Social Security and Medicare, such as other dependent programs and benefits; employer/ employee responsibilities; programs outside of social security; what to do if denied and the viewpoint from professionals. All of these topics are relevant and interesting in there own right. Attending to them is worth your time and effort. The core chapters on Social Security and Medicare, however, are those mainly covered by this review.<BR/><BR/>You can¿t understand social security without considering its history. Starting with that, the handbook covers the Social Security Act in great detail by not only covering its specific points, but the controversies and amendments since the initial act was passed into law and what it¿s status is today. This is an excellent summary of the act and its influence in plain language. It is a valuable key in furthering your understanding about social security and what you need to know about your rights under this act.<BR/><BR/>The chapter on Retirement Benefits covers programs and eligibility as well as when and under what conditions you become eligible. It helps clarify key terms, such as ¿earnings record,¿ and ¿PIA¿ or primary insurance amount, as well as point out what to do about qualifying, submitting claims, determining earning amounts, and getting auxiliary benefits. These are all core concerns that usually confuse people. But the handbook helps you make sense of all of this in very clear and plain language.<BR/><BR/>The chapter on Disability Benefits covers programs and services that relate to this type of claim and how you qualify for such benefits. Besides disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is also covered in detail. What is noteworthy here and through out this handbook are the references to web sites and phone numbers to use for added information. This is especially helpful in dealing with what needs to be done and how to file claims. What is even more valuable is what should be done in the event you are denied and what you need to do to make relevant appeals.<BR/><BR/>Just as there is a historical aspect to Social Security, there is a parallel one on the history of Medicare. What is helpful (to those who either don¿t know or are not familiar with the different parts of Medicare coverage, such as Parts A, B, and C along with the more recently enacted Part D relating to Drugs) is this part of the handbook which serves as your guide through the alphabet soup of medical coverage under social security ¿a very welcome supplement to those not in the know.<BR/><BR/>Finally, this handbook earns added value with the information it provides in the appendices by citing other resources, such as web sites, agencies and associations, telephone numbers and an extensive bibliography. So armed, any user of this handbook should have a firm grasp of what needs to be done with regard to Social Security and Medicare and by so doing avoid getting lost in the usual maze of misinformation

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    What you need to know about Medicare

    The hard reality in the world of government benefits is that representatives from Social Security and Medicare don't really care about you. V.R. Leonard, author of "The Social Security and Medicare Handbook: What You Need To Know, Explained Simply" and a mother of two disabled children explains what government benefits are right for you, depending on your situation, and how to skirt common problems associated with applying for benefits and communicating with representatives.

    As a former reporter, Leonard dives into the uncertain realm of government benefits to outline all of the health care and assistance programs you need to get back on your feet after a disability or upon reaching old age.

    As outlined in her book, the particulars of government programs are a labyrinth of procedures and paperwork. Those who have been hired to assist you on your way are not obligated to answer your questions or help you gather information. They may even hang up the phone on you if they don't like your attitude.

    Leonard's book gives you all of the useful information, from the programs that are out there, to how much money you can receive, to the qualifications of each program. While it is a lot to absorb, in the long run, you can have a working relationship with financial assistance representatives without getting frustrated, and earn benefits that can help you receive health care and government assistance.

    Leonard also adds her voice to the ongoing debate about private versus public health care. She states that there are pros and cons of both, and that one may be better than the other depending on your needs.

    The book includes useful contact information and a glossary of terms that will allow you to wade through the pool of jargon and paperwork with ease. The key, according to Leonard, is to provide full, complete and honest information to representatives and keep a positive attitude.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Must-have resource for facing bureaucracy!

    If you find yourself in the position of needing help winding your way through the maze of paperwork and inertia that can be our governmental services, specifically in regards to Social Security, then this book will be an invaluable resource for you. It will prepare you with an insider's knowledge on how to untangle bureaucratic red tape, and the necessary fortitude to face steep challenges in order to access your benefits.

    The book acts as an advocate for your rights and your interests in the face of the sometimes harsh and cold government caseworker, and provides a concise history of the roots of Social Security in human society as a backdrop to an in-depth understanding of the program, its benefits, and how they are meant to work for you. While the material can be sometimes technical, the book provides a succinct summary at the end of each chapter.

    Every aspect of Social Security is covered including retirement, unemployment, disability and survivorship, Medicare, and how to proceed when denied. Also included is the actual Social Security Act in its entirety, which serves as an excellent form of reference as well as a concrete foundation upon which to stand when applying for your benefits. The book also discusses the current history and the specter of privatization of the Social Security system.At the end of the book you will find a wealth of alternative resources and assistance programs for people in need.

    Armed with the information in this book, you will be ready to face the cold unfeeling face of bureaucracy

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 11, 2008


    This book is a thorough and informative explanation of the Social Security and Medicare programs. Not only is it written with a detailed breakdown of the laws and protocols associated with the programs but it also delivers an understandable and relatable message as to the importance and implications of each. It affords a progressive description of the history and development of the systems in a logical and sometimes comical manner. The author delivers personality in the fact that she provides a combination of personal opinion, descriptive case studies, and real-life analogies which allowed me to sympathize and understand the importance of such social programs. The information provided is supported by quotations from legislative material as well as references from field experts making it arguably accurate as well. I appreciated the simple explanations, advice, instruction on how to get around problems working with government officials, and the compassion she displays as a sort of ¿fighting for the individual.¿ Star rating: 4

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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Lots of great "insider" information about the Social Security & Medicare System! A must read for anyone considering applying for benefits.

    ¿The Social Security and Medicare Handbook¿ by V.R. Leonard, is a handbook designed to educate the reader in an easy-to-read format about the Social Security and Medicare system. The author explains in great detail many aspects of this system in order to make the entire concept seem less confusing to the average person. In other words, you don¿t have to be an expert to understand how Social Security and Medicare can best benefit you. <BR/><BR/>Found in the various chapters of this handbook are helpful tips on what to expect when applying for Social Security and Medicare benefits. The author guides the reader through every step of this process from initially applying for benefits to what information is required to what to do if you are rejected for benefits. It also contains a nice section on applying for benefits for handicapped children as well as other local community programs that low-income or disabled people may be eligible for; information that¿s often hard to find through other sources. <BR/><BR/>The author, who is a professional researcher, gives a great deal of insight into the Social Security Administration, including the history, how the system itself operates and how to successfully work within the system to get the benefits you may need. There is also a section about the future of the Social Security Administration and how the privatization of healthcare may affect this system in coming years. Numerous other professionals, such as physicians, lawyers and advocates, who have many years of experience helping clients get Social Security benefits, offer their candid advice as well. That in and of itself is worth giving this handbook a good read.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    "People are more than statistics"

    ¿People are more than statistics.¿ Government programs when explained talk a lot about numbers, financial profit or deficit and how people fit into them. By doing this, the government has already confused us. A person dealing with Social Security and Medicare can become frightened and overwhelmed.<BR/><BR/>Each chapter is divided into categories of information and makes reading about relevant information easy. If you have a situation you are dealing with or an immediate question, go directly to that chapter. You do not have to read previous chapters to understand what is being explained. Each chapter stands by itself.<BR/> <BR/>This book covers all the information about these two government programs in a way everyone can understand. With aging parents and the ever-increasing baby boomer generation, this book is highly recommended and valuable. If you are dealing with the Social Security and/or Medicare agencies now or want better clarification for future use of these systems, read this book. <BR/><BR/>Government program language is at most times vague and confusing. V.R. Leonard breaks the language barrier and provides us, the reader, with relevant, and an easy to understand translation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Review of handy Social Security and Medicare guide

    This book provides information on how to find out what benefits you may be entitled to from the Medicare and Social Security programs and advice on how to go about claiming them. It is written in an accessible and easily readable style to help you cut through the bureaucracy. There is a fairly detailed history of the system and an outline of the relevant legislation. Then the various chapters focus on areas such as retirement benefits, disability benefits, dependant benefits, survivor benefits, special coverage provisions for occupations which are not covered under general Social Security programs and veteran benefits. There is also a chapter about the employee/employer relationship and how your benefits are affected by being self-employed which includes information on unemployment benefits. The book even includes information on assistance programs which exist outside of the Social Security system for low income families and children. Each section provides a detailed summary with key points for easy revision. There is advice on what to do if your claim is denied and case studies of various systems elsewhere in the world, including pension provision schemes in the UK. The final chapter gives a good overview and the appendices include a wealth of useful links for further information and highlight places to apply. Social Security and Medicare provide a safety net of sorts for many people but benefits are never easy to come by so this book is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to traverse the system and claim the benefits they are entitled to. It helps the reader to understand how the system came about, what the recent trends are and most importantly how and when to apply. Since the official information provided is often confusing and visits or phone calls to the authorities can prove frustrating and ultimately useless this easy to digest guide is potentially a very useful resource.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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