Group Benefits Disability Specialist Program

Group Benefits Disability Specialist Program

The Group Disability Specialist Program is designed for group benefit professionals that market and/or service group short-term and long-term disability products. If you sell or service disability accounts or desire to obtain the National Underwriter Group Benefits Disability Specialist (GBDS) professional designation, this three day intermediate program is tailored for you. Additionally, professionals can use this program to help meet their continuing education requirements.

Program Structure:

GBDS Program Structure
This program is designed to help prepare participants to:
  • Align their clients' group disability needs and goals with carrier capabilities
  • Differentiate themselves through deeper product and industry knowledge
  • Recognize potential compliance gaps in statutory disability products
  • Effectively communicate the need for group disability insurance
  • Summarize the different types of government- and employer-sponsored disability insurance programs
  • Explain the design, structure, language and underwriting principles of disability insurance to clients
  • Clarify how group disability premiums and benefits are treated for tax purposes, and
  • Recognize the importance of proper claims management, transfer of coverage and voluntary benefits administration
This comprehensive program is divided into two important, interrelated phases:
  • Phase I (in Agency): The individual study portion of this program is comprised of reading the National Underwriter GBDS (Group Benefits Disability Specialist) handbook in preparation for taking the designation exam. Participants should expect to receive materials several weeks in advance.
*Reading assignments will be received via mail approximately 4 weeks prior to course.

Reading assignments consist of The National Underwriter Coverage Specialist materials and include the following topics:
  • Market Overview
  • Fraud
  • Government Provided Group Disability Insurance
  • STD Underwriting Pricing
  • LTD Underwriting Pricing
  • Service
  • Claims, and more
  • Phase II (Instructor-Led Classroom): This three day intensive training is conducted by the school’s experienced instructors. ​​

    Classroom instruction runs from:
                  Day 1: 8:00am - 4:30pm
                  Day 2: 8:00am - 4:30pm
                  Day 3: 8:00am - 12:00pm
(Please take this into consideration when booking returning flights)
Class sizes are limited to ensure highly effective, interactive, hands on instruction.
For additional questions or guidance about this program, please contact one of our Education Consultants at
(800) 772-0208.
  • Classroom ProgramsClick here to view Continuing Education (CE) credit hours filed in your state.
Students wishing to obtain CE Credits must be licensed prior to attending the program. Please note: CE credit hours are subject to change per insurance department regulation and reviews.
  • Virtual Classroom Programs: Because these programs do not include traditional classroom training, these programs are currently not filed for CE credits in any state.
Have a CE question? Call our Training Coordination service team at
(800) 772-0208.
Tuition: $995 and includes all training materials.
Your pre-work course material will be mailed to you 30 days prior to your classroom start date. 
Please note that tuition must be paid in full prior to receiving pre-work material. Travel, lodging and meals are separate costs and paid by the participant.
Tuition can be paid using Master Card, Visa, American Express or check.
  • Cancellations received more than 30 days prior to start of the program will receive a full refund.
  • No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 30 days prior to the start of the program. Students will be given one opportunity to transfer to another session, preferably within the same calendar year.
  • Refunds are not available for transferred programs.
Attendees are responsible for arranging their own travel and lodging, and for covering all costs incurred (including travel, lodging, and meals) while participating in the program. Hartford School of Insurance has negotiated special room rates with selected hotels. Attendees may also select to make alternatives arrangements.
Travel arrangements should not be made until registration confirmation has been received. Return flights should not be made before 5:00 pm on the last of class.
Click on the link below to view training locations and corresponding accommodations.

View Group Benefits Training Locations & Accommodations
Group Benefits Disability Specialist (GBDS) Designation
Hartford School of Insurance is proud to partner with The National Underwriter Company to offer the Group Benefits Disability Specialist (GBDS) designation. Created with the learning needs of insurance professionals in mind, the GBDS is the most complete professional designation available for industry professionals seeking to master the subject of group disability coverage.
Students completing the GBDS program have demonstrated extensive knowledge in a critical functional area of group disability practice—insurance policy coverage—and will have applied that knowledge in real-life case study exercises.
Click Here to view the GBDS Professional Designation Flyer.
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