TN 15 (06-12)
RS 02101.114 How to Develop Domestic Service Employment Relationship Determinations
The fundamental task is to determine if the worker performed domestic services pursuant
to a contract of employment. The term “contract of employment” refers to an agreement,
written or oral. An individual agrees to perform services for another person in exchange
for money. The person who receives the services retains the right to exercise sufficient
direction and control over the individual performing the services to create the legal
relationship of employer and employee under the usual common-law rules.
Take the following actions to develop domestic service employment relationship determinations.
Consider the acts and conduct of the parties and the surrounding circumstances, including
any communications between them, to determine if the domestic performed the services
pursuant to an employment contract.
Use an SSA-7160 (Employment Relationship Questionnaire) to obtain information about
the work arrangement to base a determination. When an alleged employer files a claim
based on alleged wages paid to a relative or member of the same household for domestic
services, request that the domestic and the alleged employer each complete an SSA-7160.
Since this form is appropriate to gather the comprehensive information needed to develop
domestic service employment, we encourage the use of this form. However, if you have
obtained sufficient information to make a determination keep in mind that it is information
Make every attempt to have each party complete the form individually in his or her
own words without discussing the answers.
When appropriate, obtain other pertinent information in addition to that the SSA-7160
elicits. For coverage development in employer-employee cases, see RS 02101.800.
Evaluate all evidence and make a determination in accordance with the guides outlined
in RS 02101.115.
In highly questionable cases, document the views as to the credibility of the parties,
and the existence of the alleged relationship as the basis for the views on a Report
Fax and store the SSA-7160 in the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents
(NDRED). You can access the NDRED application at http://otsodiet.ssahost.ba.ssa.gov/ssawebapps.htm