TN 18 (10-06)
RS 00205.275 Home Schooling
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, which is discussed in RS 00205.335.)
B. Policy - general
Student benefits are payable if:
The student meets the Federal standards for full-time attendance (FTA) (RS 00205.300C);
The law of the State in which the home school is located recognizes home school as an educational institution (EI);
The home school the student attends meets the requirements of the State law where he or she resides; and
The student meets all the other requirements for benefits.
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.
See GN 01010.810 through GN 01010.815 for instructions about requesting, using, and documenting legal precedent opinions (LPO), and see GN 01010.815 for instructions about when to request a new LPO. See PR 07905.000 for LPOs about educational institutions, and see PR 08005.000 for LPOs about home schooling.
C. Policy - home school parent/teacher responsibilities
The child's home school instructor must submit evidence that State requirements for home schooling are met. Depending on the State requirements, this evidence may include:
A copy of the certificate of intent;
Documentation that State-mandated tests were taken;
The education level of the home school teacher;
A list of the courses being taught; or
A copy of the attendance log or chart.
The home schooling instructor is the certifying school official for FTA purposes on Form SSA-1372, Student's Statement Regarding School Attendance.
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.
1. Examples of individuals who meet requirements of state law
a. Example 1
Jessica is home schooled. A home correspondence school based in another State furnishes her curriculum.
Jessica's mother teaches her at home 25 hours per week and administers tests that are forwarded to the school for grading. State law (where Jessica's home is located) requires:
The parent to file a certificate of enrollment with the local school board;
The parent to teach specific courses; and
Attendance of 20 hours per week for the duration of the regular public school term.
Jessica's mother submitted a copy of the certificate of enrollment signed by the local school official and a list of the courses being taught, and she certified Jessica's attendance as 25 hours per week. Since Jessica's home schooling meets all State requirements, she may be entitled as a student as long as all other factors of entitlement are met.
b. Example 2
Jamie lives in a State that requires the parent to:
File an annual certificate of intent to home school;
Teach specific subjects; and
Instruct for 20 hours per week.
The State also requires the child to be tested annually by the State.
Jamie's home schooling instructor submits a copy of the certificate of intent and State-mandated tests, a list of the courses being taught, and a copy of the attendance log or chart. Since Jamie's home school meets all State requirements, he can be entitled as a student as long as all other factors of entitlement are met.
2. Example of an individual who does not meet State law requirements
Ryan's mother teaches him at home and he lives in the same State as Jessica and takes courses from the same home correspondence school. As proof, his mother certified that his attendance is 25 hours per week and presented a list showing that the required courses were being taught; however, Ryan's mother has not filed a certificate of enrollment with the local school board as required by State law.
Until Ryan's mother files the certificate of enrollment, Ryan does not meet the requirements for student benefits. If Ryan's mother files the certificate, he can be entitled when the home school is in compliance with State law and all student requirements are met.
D. Procedure - age 18 conversion cases
If the child attains age 18 before the home school determination is made, terminate benefits and explain to the claimant that:
Benefits cannot be paid before a home school determination is made;
A notice will be sent but it will not include the home school decision; and
A separate notice will be sent when the home school decision is completed.
NOTE: Either the FO or the PC, whichever makes the home school decision, should send this notice.
E. Procedure - initial or re-entitlement claims
In initial or re-entitlement claims, explain to the claimant that:
F. Procedure - documenting the home school decision
Develop and document State and Federal requirements as follows:
The student should take Form SSA-1372, Student's Statement Regarding School Attendance, to the home school parent/teacher for certification and return it to the FO.
Does completed Form SSA-1372 indicate the student is in FTA according to Federal standards (RS 00205.300)?
If yes, go to Step 2.
If no, document the file and deny the claim (disallowance code 41, student not in FTA) or terminate entitlement. Fax the SSA-1372 into the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed) or eDIB for retention in the Claims File Records Management System (CFRMS). Destroy the paper copy after verifying receipt of the document in CFRMS. If PC action is necessary, in addition to faxing the form into CFRMS, fax the form to the Paperless fax number of the appropriate PC.
If the child is also filing for disability benefits, annotate Form SSA-1372 “Not full-time student” and fax it with the disability material.
Has a legal precedent opinion (LPO) for home schooling been established for the State in which the home school is located? (See PR 07905.000 to determine if an educational institution precedent exists and PR 08005.000 to determine whether a home school precedent exists.)
If yes, go to Step 3.
If no, obtain an opinion following the procedures in GN 01010.815. When the opinion is received, go to Step 3.
Does the LPO from PR 07905.000 or PR 08005.000 indicate a home school is a recognized EI in the State in which the home school is located?
If yes, document the file (GN 01010.810) with the LPO. Review the precedent opinion to determine the type of documentation needed. Request the appropriate documentation from the home school parent/teacher regarding the State requirements specified in the LPO from the PR part of POMS, and go to Step 4.
If no, document the file (GN 01010.810) with the LPO and deny the claim (disallowance code 38, student not attending an educational institution) or terminate entitlement. Fax the SSA-1372 following the instructions in step 1.
Does the information presented by the home school parent/teacher indicate that State requirements are met?
If yes, document the file and award benefits or continue entitlement if all other requirements are met. Fax the SSA-1372 following the instructions in step 1.
If no, document the file and deny the claim (disallowance code 38, student not attending an educational institution) or terminate entitlement. Fax the SSA-1372 following the instructions in step 1.
NOTE: If there are questions about any aspects of the claim, contact your regional office or PC Operations Analysis staff.