The Home School Court Report
No. 4

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HSLDA Gets Benefits Reinstated

Case: L Family v. Social Security Administration
Filed: 12/29/10

by Joshua Kamakawiwoole

After his father passed away, Tim Lorence (name changed to protect privacy) and his siblings began receiving monthly checks from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Together with their mother’s part-time work, the siblings’ SSA benefits provided just enough money for the family to continue homeschooling in addition to meeting basic needs.

In early December 2011, as Tim was preparing to finish his senior year of high school, he received a letter from the SSA stating that his benefits would be terminated the following month because he was turning 18 and was neither disabled nor a student in secondary education. The family asked the SSA to extend his benefits until he graduated, but the representative with whom they met would not accept Mrs. Lorence’s signature as the “school administrator.” The family called HSLDA for assistance.

HSLDA wrote a letter to the SSA explaining the administration’s own requirements for homeschoolers receiving survivor benefits.

The response to this letter did not arrive until the beginning of February. In its reply to HSLDA, the SSA requested information from the family that is not required by the state, such as the teacher’s education level. HSLDA then submitted a request for reconsideration to the SSA, providing proof that the Lorence family had followed all of Colorado’s requirements for homeschooling. HSLDA urged that Tim’s benefits be reinstated until he graduated and that the family be reimbursed for the months they had been deprived of SSA funding.

In early April, the SSA responded favorably, reinstating the benefits along with compensation for the months that the benefits had been suspended.


HSLDA Keeps Family off Child Neglect Registry

Case: In re: L Family
Filed: 1/25/11

by Joshua Kamakawiwoole

With HSLDA’s help, a member family was able to have its name removed from the Ohio Central Registry on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Homeschooled student Sam Livingston (name changed to protect privacy) receives special education services once a week from a local public school. However, about six weeks into the 2010–11 school year, caseworkers at the school sent the Livingstons a letter charging them with truancy because Sam had attended school only two days during the previous two weeks.

Mrs. Livingston called the school to explain that Sam only received special education services one day each week. The school official with whom she spoke knew of Sam’s situation and apologized for the letter. Nonetheless, the Livingstons continued to receive letters from the school accusing them of truancy. With the receipt of each letter, they called the school and were assured that everything would be fixed soon.

When the letters finally stopped coming, the family discovered that they had been placed on the state child neglect registry, with the situation regarding Sam’s “educational neglect” categorized as “founded.” They called HSLDA. We immediately contacted the case-workers’ attorney and explained that the finding of educational neglect was incorrect. Soon afterward, the family was removed from the registry.

About the author

Joshua Kamakawiwoole is HSLDA’s litigation assistant.

Pending Cases

AL B Family v. Social Security Administration

AZ Loudermilk Family v. Administration for Children, Youth and Families

CA County of Los Angeles v. S Family

CA In re: RH

CA L Family v. Social Security Administration

CA M Family v. County of San Bernardino

DC In re: DP

FL R Family v. Department of Veterans Affairs

IN S Family v. Social Security Administration

MA Attleboro Public Schools v. S Family

MS In re: Petitioner Doe

NJ Department of Youth and Family Services v. F Family

NM In re: BW

NY In re: MS

PA Newborn v. Franklin Regional School District

TX K Family v. Social Security Administration

WA F Family v. Department of Veterans Affairs