PR 08005.049 Utah

A. PR 03-074 Requirements for Home Schooling in Utah

DATE: November 26, 2002


The State of Utah has a compulsory attendance law for minors. The local Board of Education may exempt from the compulsory attendance law a minor who is taught at home in the subjects required by the State Board of Education and for the same length of time as students in the district schools.

Utah has a core curriculum that requires three credits of language arts, two credits of math, two credits of science, three credits of Social Studies, one and a half credits of the Arts, a half credit of health education, one and a half credits of Physical Education, one credit of technology, and a half credit of computer technology. Students in grades 9-12 must earn a minimum of 24 units of credit. Utah requires 990 hours of instruction in a minimum of 180 school days.

The student's home school instructor should furnish either:

  • A certificate issued by the local Board of Education exempting the child from the compulsory attendance law; or

  • Evidence that the State requirements are being met.

The student must also meet Federal standards for full-time attendance and all other requirements for payment of benefits.



In order to be eligible for student benefits, an individual must meet certain eligibility requirements: he/she must 1) meet the requirements for child's benefits (insured's child, dependent on insured, apply, umarried); 2) have attained the age of 18; and 3) be a full-time elementary or secondary school student who has not attained (or has not been deemed to have attained) age 19. See Program Operations Manual System (POMS) § RS 00205.100A.; see also U.S.C. § 402(d)(1)(B), (d)(7)(C)(i); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.350(a)(5), 404.367 (2002). A child is a Afull-time elementary or secondary school student if [the child] . . . [is] instructed in an elementary or secondary education at home in accordance with a home school law of the State or jurisdiction in which [the child] reside[s].@ 20 C.F.R. § 404.367(a)(1) (2002).

Social Security Policy states that

[s]tudent benefits are payable if . . . the student meets the Federal standards for full-time attendance; . . . the law of the State in which the home school is located recognizes [the] home school as an educational institution; . . . the home school the student attends meets the requirements of State law in which the home school is located and . . . the student meets all the other requirements of benefits.

POMS § RS 00205.275B. “The child's home school instructor must submit evidence that State requirements for home schooling are met.” Id. § RS 00205.275C.

A student is in [full-time attendance] if he/she is attending an elementary or secondary level school . . . and is meeting both the State and Federal standards for full time attendance. . . . . To meet Federal standards, the student must be . . . [s]cheduled for attendance at the rate of at least 20 hours per week, enrolled in a course that is not a correspondence course, and enrolled in a course of study that is of at least 13 weeks duration.

POMS § RS 00205.300A. & RS 00205.300C.


Utah also has a compulsory attendance law that requires all minors to attend public or private school. See UTAH CODE ANN. § 53A-11-101 (2002). A minor can be exempted from the compulsory attendance law by the local school board if “the minor is taught at home in the subjects prescribed by the State Board of Education in accordance with the law for the same length of time as minors are required by law to be taught in the district schools.” Id. § 53A-11-102(1)(b)(ii). “The evidence for reasons granting the exemption must be sufficient to satisfy the local board.” Id. § 53A-11-102 (2). If the Board excuses the minor, it shall issue a certificate excusing the minor “from attendance during the time specified on the certificate.” Id. § 53A-11-102(3).

To determine if an individual who lives in Utah and attends a home school is eligible for student benefits, you may wish to contact the Utah State Board of Education to determine whether the State Board of Education has excused the individual from compulsory education to attend a home schooling program. 20 C.F.R. § 404.367(a)(1) (2002).

Should the Board have no record of having excused the individual, perhaps because the individual was not subject to compulsory attendance by virtue of age and therefore not within the Board's purview, we advise you to independently determine whether the individua