Skip to main content

Hartford School of Insurance

Marketing Image

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

Self-study reading and activities Three-day intensive classroom training


This program is offered in the following format:

Full classroom details below.


Click on Expand All to See Full Descriptions

Program Learning Objectives

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
Classroom Delivery Details

This comprehensive program is divided into two important, interrelated phases:

  1. 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
  2. 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 - 5:00pm
                  Day 3: 8:00am - 12:30pm (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.

Continuing Education Credits
  • Classroom Programs:  Click 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.

Cancellation Policy
  • 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.
Training Locations & Accommodations

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

GBDS Designation

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.


Program Reviews

About our Customer Reviews

The Hartford publishes reviews so you can read about actual experiences our customers have shared. The reviews on this site are individual descriptions of costs, savings amounts, and customer experiences with our products and services that will vary based on their unique circumstances. Please note that each review is presented in its original form after having been reviewed by The Hartford and reviews are not representative of all customers.

Guidelines for reviews

The Hartford publishes reviews in order that site visitors may learn from actual experiences our customers have shared.

The Hartford applies several guidelines in the consideration of customer reviews for publication on our web site.

In general, reviews are published if they are relevant to the experience and not defamatory.

While the application of publishing guidelines is a subjective process, the following are frequent reasons which may prevent posting of a review:

  • Derogatory, abusive, threatening or offensive language and statements will disqualify a review from being published.
  • In order to protect our customers' privacy, and that of our employees and business partners, reviews containing personally identifiable information will not be published.
  • We do not publish reviews citing exact premium and settlement amounts.
  • We do not publish reviews that include a description of illegal activity or reference pending or current litigation.
  • We do not edit, correct, or modify ratings or reviews, regardless of content or tone.

Program Reviews


  Click below to enroll

Tuition: $995


Hartford, CT
Mar. 6 - 8    Enroll
(Atlanta Area)
Mar. 13 – 15   Enroll

Costa Mesa, CA
(Newport Beach Area)
Mar. 27 – 29   Enroll

St. Louis, MO
Apr. 10 – 12    Enroll
(Orlando Area)
Apr. 24 – 26   Enroll

Englewood, CO
(Denver Area)
May 22 – 24   Enroll
(Nashville Area)
June 26 – 28   Enroll
July 17 - 19   Enroll
(Philadelphia Area)
Aug. 21 - 23   Enroll
(Baltimore Area)
Sept. 18 - 20   Enroll
(Detroit Area)
Sept. 25 - 27   Enroll


Have Questions?

Contact Hartford
School of Insurance!


image image

Email Scott

Email Marissa