Home School Court Report
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March / April 2005

Taylor broke ground with NCAA
Judicial Tyranny Goes Global
Let the Facts Speak

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Social Security benefits denied

In early 2004, the Smith family received a letter terminating their 18-year-old daughter's Social Security disability benefits. Sarah had been receiving these benefits for several years, and according to Social Security Administration (SSA) policies, she should have been able to continue receiving them as long as she was enrolled in a high school.

The Smiths quickly contacted thePeoria County SSA office, explaining that Sarah had not yet graduated from their homeschool program. The Peoria office responded with a further denial, explaining that homeschools were not considered valid high school programs. After going back and forth with SSA officials for several months, the Smiths contacted Home School Legal Defense Association for assistance.

HSLDA sent a letter explaining that homeschools are considered valid private schools both in Illinois and under the national SSA policies, and therefore the benefits should be reinstated. The Peoria SSA official said he would reconsider if Mrs. Smith brought in attendance reports, curriculum lists, and "other stuff" (which he could not define).

Mrs. Smith agreed to submit the items requested, but when she dropped them off, she was again told that homeschools were not valid schools and that the benefits were still denied. At that point, HSLDA Staff Attorney Darren Jones called the Peoria office, explained Illinois law and national SSA policy, and convinced the official to reinstate Sarah's benefits.

Any HSLDA member experiencing this type of problem should immediately contact our legal staff for assistance.

— by Christopher J. Klicka