TN 13 (07-00)

RS 00205.320 Deemed Full-Time Attendance (FTA) During A Period of Nonattendance

A. Policy - general

A student is deemed to be in FTA during a period of nonattendance if the period of nonattendance is 4 calendar months or less and he/she:

  • Is in FTA at an elementary or secondary level school immediately prior to the period of nonattendance; and

  • Intends to resume full-time attendance at an elementary or secondary level school immediately following the period of nonattendance.

B. Policy - period of nonattendance

Generally consider a period of nonattendance to be any period during which the student is not in FTA (e.g., not attending school, attending school less than full time, or attending a school which is not an educational institution (EI)).

A period of nonattendance:

  • Begins on the first day of the month following the last month in which the student was in FTA; and

  • Ends on the last day of the month preceding the month in which the student resumes FTA.

Do not deem a student to be in FTA for the period of nonattendance if:

  • The student does not plan to resume FTA at an EI; or

  • The student is in FTA and reduces his/her subject load to less than full time or to less than 20 hours of scheduled attendance.

NOTE: See RS 00205.310 if the student is unable to attend school for at least 20 hours per week due to special circumstances.

C. Policy - intent to return to school

1. General

In order for a student to be entitled to a period of nonattendance of 4 calendar months or less:

  • He/she intends to attend or to return to a secondary level school program immediately following the period of nonattendance; and

  • The school has already been determined to be an EI.

EXAMPLE: Jeff was last in FTA in high school on May 7. He intends to return to high school in FTA on October 25. His entitlement can continue uninterrupted since he was a full-time student in May and October and can be deemed to be a full-time student (if all other requirements are met) for the 4-month period from June through September.

2. Establishing intent

a. Intent to return to the same school

Establish intent to resume FTA if the student states that he/she plans to continue FTA at the same school. Consider the student to be in deemed FTA for the period of nonattendance.

b. Intent to attend a different school

Deem the student to be in FTA for the period of nonattendance if the student states that he/she plans to resume FTA at a different school that is an EI. The student does not need to have applied to or been accepted by the new school.

NOTE: Intent is not established if the student does not specify the name of the new school. Terminate benefits the month after the last month of actual FTA.

If it is not known whether the new school named by the student is an EI, develop per RS 00205.200. Entitlement continues pending an EI determination. If it is determined that the school is not an EI, terminate benefits the later of:

  • The month after the last month of actual FTA at an EI; or

  • The month of age 18 attainment.

3. Change of intent

Once intent is established, accept the student's statement of the date when his/her intent changed unless there is a prior notice or other evidence to the contrary.

If the student does not provide the date his/her intent changed, the change of intent will be determined to be the earlier of:

  • The date SSA is notified of the change; or

  • The date of the new school year.

Deem a student, who intended to resume FTA timely at an EI but did not do so, to be in FTA throughout the month in which he/she changed his/her intent. However, do not entitle the student for more than 4 calendar months following the last month he/she was in actual FTA.

EXAMPLE 1: Carol was last in FTA on May 25 and stated she intended to resume FTA on October 4. She did not resume FTA on October 4 and did not notify us until October 10. She may be paid benefits for June through September on the assumption she changed her intent on October 4 the day she intended to resume FTA. She cannot be entitled for October since this is the fifth month following the last month she was in FTA.

If entitlement is terminated and Carol later resumes FTA, deem her to be in FTA for the entire period of nonattendance if the period of nonattendance does not exceed 4 calendar months.

EXAMPLE 2: Carol was last in FTA in May and did not intend to return to school. Her benefits terminate in June. On October 10, she notifies us that she returned to FTA on October 4. Benefits can be paid for June, July, August, and September since the period of nonattendance did not exceed 4 calendar months.

However, if Carol does not return to school until November 10, the period of nonattendance exceeds 4 calendar months and she can only be re-entitled beginning with November, the first month of FTA.

4. Terminating event other than change of intent

If a terminating event other than change of intent occurs during the period of nonattendance (e.g., the student marries), terminate the child the month in which the terminating event occurred.

D. Policy - period of nonattendance in age 18 attainment month

If the individual attains age 18 during a period of nonattendance

(RS 00205.315), consider him/her a student for that month. Process the claim or continue entitlement even though the individual is not yet in actual FTA.

EXAMPLE: Joe, who was last in FTA in June, attains age 18 in July. He intends to return to school when classes resume in September. Since Joe was in FTA in June and intends to resume FTA in September, he is deemed to be in FTA in July (the month he attains age 18) since the period of nonattendance is less than 4 calendar months.

E. Policy - not in actual or deemed FTA in the age 18 attainment month

If a child is not in actual or deemed FTA in the age 18 attainment month, he/she cannot be entitled for that month. The child can be entitled effective with the first month of FTA after attaining age 18, provided all other conditions for entitlement are met.

EXAMPLE: Bill was last in FTA in March and attained age 18 in May. He intends to return to FTA for the September to June school year.

Because he is not in actual or deemed FTA in the month he attained age 18, he is not entitled to benefits in May. He can be entitled as a student beginning in September, the month he resumes FTA, if all other entitlement factors are met.

F. Policy - school does not open on schedule

If the school does not open on schedule at the start of a term or closes before completion of a term, deem the student to be in FTA if:

  • He/she has not been suspended or expelled;

  • The period of nonattendance is 4 calendar months or less; and

  • He/she establishes intent to be in, or is in, FTA immediately following the period of nonattendance.

G. Policy - student withdraws or is in academic suspension

Deem the student to be in FTA if the student withdraws from school or is in academic suspension (e.g., low or failing grades) and:

  • The academic suspension coincides with the end of an established school term and prevents the student from attending a future term at the school;

  • The period of nonattendance is 4 calendar months or less; and

  • The student intends to attend or resumes FTA at an EI after the suspension period.

H. Policy - student is expelled or suspended from school based on a disciplinary action

Do not deem a student to be in FTA during a period of nonattendance resulting from a disciplinary expulsion or suspension from school. This holds true even if the student intends to resume or actually resumes FTA. Consider a student to be suspended or expelled when, as a result of action(s) on his/her part, he/she is barred from class attendance.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0300205320
RS 00205.320 - Deemed Full-Time Attendance (FTA) During A Period of Nonattendance - 03/13/2013
Batch run: 03/13/2013
Rev:03/13/2013