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Social Security Benefits when Homeschooling

Program Operations Manual System (POMS)
RS 00205.275 Home Schooling. Effective Dates: 10/23/2013 – Present. This document is your first go-to document to determine your rights for Social Security benefits for your homeschooler.

Some of the points covered in this document are:

  1. Home schooling is a private educational program in which the student is taught within the home by a parent/teacher. It is a program of study completely by choice. (This differs from a homebound program.
  2. IMPORTANT: Some States only require parent reporting/monitoring until the student attains the State’s compulsory education age, which is age 16 in many States; however, a home school must comply with State law for the child to be entitled as a student even if he/she is beyond the State’s compulsory education age.
  3. The child’s home school instructor must submit evidence that State requirements for home schooling are met. The home schooling instructor is the certifying school official for FTA purposes on Form SSA-1372, Student’s Statement Regarding School Attendance.
  4. NOTE: If the student’s courses are from a correspondence school, the home school teacher must instruct the student using the course material. See RS 00205.330 for the treatment of correspondence courses without home school teacher involvement.

Read the document to get more details. If there are questions about any aspects of the claim, contact your regional office.

Frequently Asked Questions – Students

10. Who can receive student benefits?
In general, the children of retired, deceased, or disabled beneficiaries who remain full-time students at age 18 are entitled to benefits until they reach age 19 or complete their secondary (grade 12 or below) education, whichever occurs first.

7. Can I get benefits if I attend a home school, alternative school, online school, or General Education Development (GED) program?
Students in these programs may qualify for benefits if they are in full-time attendance. (See question 6.)

6. What does SSA mean by full-time attendance?
Social Security generally considers a student to be in full-time attendance if he or she:

  • Attends an elementary or secondary level school, as determined by the law of the State or other jurisdiction in which the school is located;
  • Is enrolled in a day or evening non-correspondence course at least 13 weeks in duration;
  • Is scheduled to attend at the rate of at least 20 hours weekly; and
  • Carries a subject load considered full-time for day students under the school’s standards and practices.

Social security benefits and homeschooling?

Question: I am turning 18 this month  and i started homeschooling over the summer. My mom says I have to go back to public school or else i wont get SS. Can i still be homeschooled and get benefits?

Best Answer:  I assume you’re talking about child benefits of some kind such as SSI or Survivor Benefits. Yes, you can ABSOLUTELY keep receiving benefits while homeschooling. My father died when I was 12, and I am physically disabled (legally blind). I started homeschooling when I was 14, in 9th grade, and continued until several months after I turned 18 (my birthday was in September, so I, too, was still in school at 18 (it isn’t uncommon, people, really). I was receiving survivor’s benefits at the time, and before SSA would continue sending the check past my 18th birthday was if I proved that I was still “in school”. This, however, did not mean in a public or private or online school. They wanted some kind of proof that I was being homeschooled. We live in Florida, and in our state, when you register to homeschool, the school board will send you a letter of acknowledgement at the beginning of every year for just such an occasion. The letter simply states that I am being homeschooled legally by my mother for the current year. We simply sent this letter to SSA, and they continued to send my SS benefits.

If you’re in a state that doesn’t send out letters like this, you can send some kind of letter from your homeschool co-op, a letter or transcript from an online school, or a letter and transcript from your mother. The best thing to do would be to call your local Social Security office and ask them what they would like to see from you before they continue your benefits.

Many people confuse SSI with Social Security, because the SSI program provides payments for the aged and the disabled and both are administered by SSA. Some social security beneficiaries whose benefit amounts are low are eligible to receive additional payments under the SSI program. To really muddle it, all the double-S acronyms confuse even lawyers and accountants, so it is not surprising that most people get mixed up.

Child’s Benefits
Social Security benefits are payable to certain children of retired, deceased or disabled workers. The most common situation is for the child under age 18. These benefits can be extended if the child is still in high school through the end of the semester or quarter in which the child turns age 19. No benefits are payable after that even if the child continues on to college.

Who is entitled to child’s insurance benefits?
A child is entitled to child’s insurance benefits on the Social Security record of a parent if the following conditions are met.

When you are a “full-time elementary or secondary school student?”
§ 404.367. You may be eligible for child’s benefits if you are a full-time elementary or secondary school student. For the purposes of determining whether the conditions of entitlement are met throughout the first month as stated in § 404.352(a)(2)(i), if you are entitled as a student on the basis of attendance at an elementary or secondary school, you will be considered to be in full-time attendance for a month during any part of which you are in full-time attendance. You are a full-time elementary or secondary school student if you meet all the following conditions…


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