This wiki is designed to take full advantage of today's electronic legal research environment. It was written to be linked to the core primary law materials of its field. The author's aim has been to create a fully integrated electronic reference work. Issue by issue it provides immediate, "point and click" access to the relevant portions of the Social Security Act, Code of Federal Regulations, Hallex, and POMS as well as illustrative cases and pertinent rulings. In this way it organizes a comprehensive library of Social Security material. While it can be used apart from the Internet or printed out, in whole or part, separated from the primary legal materials available online it is far less useful.

The flexibility of the medium allows all this material to be brought to bear on the quite diverse needs of different researchers, ranging from attorneys or other experts doing Social Security representation to non-experts seeking guidance on a more general level to judges confronting a steady stream of specific Social Security issues.

The reference work, like the collection it integrates, can be entered in several different ways. It is divided into two distinct parts, designated Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 contains an overview of Social Security law, with extensive links from its "broad brush" sections to the topically focused sections of Part 2. Part 1 is organized around different benefit types and general features of the program. Its structure reflects the initial questions an individual may have about benefits under Social Security and how they are pursued. Part 2, by contrast, is organized around issues or topics that are particularly important in appeals or litigation. Using the Table of Contents or by moving into a part directly from the front menu a researcher can find a useful starting point in Part 1 or 2. Each section carries its own small table of contents, a set of linked references to related sections in Parts 1 and 2. Consequently, once a researcher has started off in a useful direction that direction can be pursued without frequent need to return "to the top."

Print reference works must do a great deal of summarizing and excerpting. Since they are separated, often by significant physical distance, from their underlying primary material, it is important that they provide detailed description. A reference work that can take you straight to its cited sources with a "point and click" need not quote them. The central value of this reference work to the user lies in the links between its topic structure and the Social Security Act, the agency regulations and rulings, and the key federal court decisions that comprise this collection. The reference work text that accompanies those links was written with three principal aims: to provide context, to highlight particularly important primary materials among those to the user, and to note when there are relatively recent changes in law or regulation that should be considered when reading older decisions. Because the detailed provisions of both Act and regulations are close at hand, this work does not repeat their every qualification or condition. Its description of governing rules is at a more general level. As a consequence, on any point about which you need precise and authoritative information, you should follow the links to the pertinent sections of the Act, regulations, and other primary material.