Home makers and chore workers perform domestic services in the private homes of welfare
recipients under programs financed by grants under the Social Security Act. A state
or local welfare agency may hire and pay these workers and the services are essentially
of a domestic nature. There are several published Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rulings
stating the position of IRS and SSA that workers performing household tasks in private
homes are generally employees under the common-law control test.
The usual common-law rules apply for questions regarding the identity of the employer.
We usually find the welfare recipient to be the employer, but there have been a few
instances when we found a state or county welfare department to be the employer.
We are working to resolve the issue of how to report wages for these workers. Some
states agreed to act as agent of the welfare recipients and therefore, the employer
of the worker, and report the wages. Other states advised the workers to report wages
Because of the varying conditions, the Seattle and Philadelphia regions issued instructions for developing this type of employment. In the absence
of any such instruction, develop an allegation involving this kind of work in the
usual manner. If the worker reported earnings as self-employment income, accept the
reporting, unless we require development for a reason other than whether the person
engaged in a trade or business under RS 01804.044.