Section 218 Training

Welcome to the State and Local Coverage Community!

Did you know—all States, including the 50 States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and approximately 60 interstate instrumentalities have a Section 218 Agreement that extends Social Security and Medicare coverage to State and local government employees? Nationwide, there are approximately 86,000 governmental employers, employing 22 million workers, and, within each State, there is a state administrator who works closely with SSA and the IRS to address the coverage and employment tax issues affecting ALL those employees.  Depending on the State, state administrators report dealing with as many as five thousand employers per year.  That is an enormous responsibility. Thus, it is critical that state administrators are trained AND supported in the functions of administering their respective State’s Social Security coverage issues. Therefore, we are providing the following training courses to supplement the policies found in the State and Local Coverage Handbook.   

The training courses on this site are broken out by four categories:
Basic & Advanced Training Courses, Glossary and Resources.

Basic Training

Course: Introduction to State Social Security Administration
This course serves as an introduction to new state administrators, and a welcome message to new users of the section 218 training site. 

Course: Introduction to U.S. Government
This course takes a look at basic governmental concepts, including the effect they have on Social Security and Medicare coverage.

Course: Introduction Social Security
This course provides a brief overview of SSA, and includes an explanation of the Agency, the coverage, and the benefits.

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Advanced Training

Course: How to Determine an Entity's Legal Status
This course looks at the various factors to consider when determining whether an entity is governmental or non-governmental. Remember, Section 218 Agreements can only cover positions of the States, political subdivisions and interstate instrumentalities. 

Course: How to Apply the Common Law Control Test in Determining an Employer/Employee Relationship
This course defines the terms employer and employee, and explains the process for using the common law control test to determine whether a worker is an employee.

Course: How to Navigate the Modification Process, and Who is Involved
This course is a step-by-step instructional guide to the modification process, and provides an in-depth look at who is involved in the process and what their responsibilities are. State administrators and SSA staffs in the PSSO, RO, OGC, and HQ all have a role in the modification process.

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The glossary identifies and defines terms SSA, IRS, and state administrators commonly use in administering Section 218.


Resource 1: Relationship Diagram (MicroSoft Word)
The Relationship Diagram is a visual representation of the flow of communication between government employers, state administrators, and SSA.

Resource 2: Determining Coverage Flowchart (Adobe PDF)
The Determining Social Security and Medicare Coverage of State and Local Government Employees flowchart is an interactive guide for establishing the proper application of coverage. The flowchart should be used as a “first step” in the process of determining correct coverage, and is not meant to generate a final resolution.

Resource 3: Introduction to Section 218 Presentation (MicroSoft PowerPoint)
This PowerPoint presentation serves as an excellent introduction to basic Section 218 concepts. The presentation can be used to train those just entering the field of State and local coverage, or, for the more experienced specialist, they may find the content of the presentation to be useful for their own engagements.

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