Homeschool families have often dealt with confusion, and sometimes hostility, from government employees who don’t understand or don’t approve of their style of education. Thankfully, the law is now on our side.
Federal law requires that students who qualify for Social Security benefits continue to receive those benefits past their 18th birthday until they have graduated from high school. For most student’s this is a simple process. For homeschool students, it can often turn into a battle with the social security office.
Imagine filling out the routine paperwork to extend the benefits that your 18-year-old homeschool senior is entitled to and then being told that the benefits would be terminated just because you homeschool.
That is exactly what happened to Mary, a THSC member. She requested that her homeschooled son’s Social Security benefits be extended through his high school graduation, as required by law. However, Mary was informed by letter in January that because her son had turned 18, he would stop receiving Social Security benefits unless they could prove that he was still enrolled in school.
In February, the Social Security Administration (SSA) cut off the benefits that he was rightfully due immediately after he turned 18. Mary reached out to THSC for assistance after SSA told her that she did not have authority as a homeschool parent to file the necessary paperwork.
We intervened with SSA on her family’s behalf by sending a letter to the local SSA office. THSC informed the caseworkers that since Texas law considers homeschools to be a type of private school, Mary was the administrator of her homeschool and had the authority to fill out the necessary forms to extend her son’s benefits.
State law recognizes homeschooling as a legitimate form of education for Texas students and considers graduation from a homeschool to be equivalent to graduation from a public or private school.
At the beginning of May, Mary informed THSC that her son’s Social Security benefits had been extended through his graduation from high school.
Interventions with government agencies and other organizations are one of the most commonly used THSC member benefits. Join THSC today to take advantage of this and other benefits and to support THSC’s work in Keeping Texas Families Free.