TN 17 (08-04)
RS 00205.340 Enrolled In A General Education Development (GED) Program
A. Policy - general
An individual in a GED program can be considered a student if:
The school providing the GED program is an educational institution (EI); and
The student is in full-time attendance (FTA). For instructions about FTA, see RS 00205.300 and RS 00205.310.
B. Policy - EI status of school offering GED program
The school providing the GED program may be a secondary or postsecondary school. Regardless of the type of school, however, the school is an EI if, under the law of the State or other jurisdiction in which it is located, the GED program is determined to be an approved elementary or secondary-level program. See PR 07905.000 to determine whether an LPO exists about the EI status of a particular GED program.
EXAMPLE: Roger is attending a community college that offers a high school-level program approved by the local board of education.
The community college is an EI even though it is a postsecondary school since the GED program provides high-school-level courses. If it is determined that Roger is in FTA, he can be considered a student.
NOTE: If the EI status of the school providing the GED program is unknown, develop the status following procedures in RS 00205.250.
IMPORTANT: See GN 01010.800 – 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 an updated LPO. See PR 07905.000 for LPOs about educational institutions; PR 08005.000 for LPOs about home schooling; and PR 08100.000 for LPOs about independent study programs.
C. Procedure - developing FTA
In developing FTA in a GED program, a student must be scheduled for at least 20 hours per week and attend for 13 consecutive weeks.
If the student alleges FTA and the school the student is attending is an EI, the student should take Form SSA-1372 to the school for certification and return it to the FO. Develop FTA as follows.
1. Scheduled attendance
If the school has no standards of attendance, use 20 hours of weekly attendance as the school's standard for purposes of determining FTA. The student is in FTA if actual attendance is at the rate of at least 20 hours weekly (or the school's standards, if higher).
If, after entitlement, the school reports that actual attendance dropped to less than 20 hours weekly, treat the report as a third-party report. Follow the procedures in GN 03001.012 and GN 03001.015 for processing a third-party report.
2. 13 weeks’ duration
In addition to the hourly scheduled attendance requirements, the course of study must be expected to last at least 13 weeks (RS 00205.315).
Many GED programs are of an indefinite length; i.e., they continue until the student is able to pass a high school equivalency examination. In these instances, the actual length of time the student is in FTA determines whether the 13-week duration requirement is met. The student must attend 13 consecutive weeks (allowing for official school breaks).
a. Student does not plan to attend GED program at least 13 weeks - procedure
If the student does not intend to attend school for 13 consecutive weeks or more, deny the claim or terminate benefits. Fax the SSA-1372 into the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed) or eDIB for retention in the Claims File User Interface (CFUI). Destroy the paper copy after verifying receipt of the document in CFUI. If PC action is necessary, in addition to faxing the form into CFUI, 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.
b. Student files before the expiration of 13 consecutive weeks - procedure
If the student files for benefits before the expiration of 13 consecutive weeks and intends to attend school for 13 consecutive weeks or more:
Inform the student that he/she must be in FTA for at least 13 consecutive weeks to be entitled to student benefits.
Have the student complete an SSA-1372 and have it certified by an official of his/her school when the student has completed 13 weeks of the course.
The FO should diary the case for the end of the 13-week period to verify FTA for the entire 13-week period. (If the student is not in FTA for the entire 13-week period, deny the claim.)
Determine when student benefits should terminate, considering age 19 attainment (RS 00205.325), and process the claim (MSOM COMMON 005.029).
Award student benefits and fax the SSA-1372 following the instructions in RS 00205.340C.2.a. in this section.
NOTE: It is immaterial whether the student could complete the course in less than 13 weeks.
c. Student files after completing 13 consecutive weeks - procedure
If the student files for benefits after completing 13 or more consecutive weeks of the course, verify FTA throughout the entire attendance period.
If verification indicates the student was in FTA throughout the 13-week period and intends to continue in FTA, process the claim (MSOM COMMON 005.029). Consider age 19 attainment (RS 00205.325).
If verification indicates that the student was not in FTA throughout the entire 13-week period, deny the claim or terminate entitlement. Fax the SSA-1372 following the instructions in RS 00205.340C.2.a. in this section.