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
individual is being instructed at home in accordance with Utah's home school law as
set forth below (this information should be provided by the child's home school instructor.
See POMS § RS
The Utah Board of Education had established a core curriculum. See Utah Admin. Code R. 277-700-3 (2002), www.rules.state.ut.us/. “Students in grade 9-12 shall earn a minimum of 24 units of credit.” See id. R. 277-700-6. The core curriculum requirements are three credits of Language Arts,
two credits of Mathematics, two credits of Science, three credits of Social Studies,
one and one-half credits of the Arts, one-half credit of Health education, one and
one-half credits of Physical education, one credit of technology, and one-half credit
of computer technology; library media skills should be integrated into the curriculum;
Core Curriculum criterion-referenced tests shall be used to assess the student's mastery
of Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and effectiveness of written expression;
and the student shall participate in the Utah Basic Skills Competency Test. See id. R. 277-700-6(D), 277-700-10.
We also advise you to determine whether the individual who is attending a home school
is in full time attendance under the Federal standards (i.e., 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) and under Utah State standards
(i.e., 990 hours of instruction in a minimum of 180 school days). See id. R. 277-419-1(I); see also, POMS §§ RS
00205.275B., RS 00205.300A. & RS 00205.300C.
Mary Ann S~
Regional Chief Counsel
Michele M. K~
Assistant Regional Counsel