SSR 68-14: SECTION 202(d)(7). -- CHILD'S INSURANCE BENEFITS -- FULL-TIME STUDENT -- SIMULTANEOUS ATTENDANCE AT TWO EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
20 CFR 404.320(c)(2)
- Where a child-student simultaneously attended two colleges and neither college considered him in full- time attendance under its standards and practices, but one college would consider him in full-time attendance under its standards had he taken all his subjects at that college, held, the subject load taken at both schools may be combined in determining full-time attendance, and where as here, the standards of one institution are met, the child, having filed an application and met all other requirements, qualifies as a full-time student and is entitled to child's insurance benefits for the period of such simultaneous attendance.
C, age 20, enrolled in X State College for subjects totalling 6 credit hours per semester. Concurrently, he enrolled at Y Junior College for subjects totalling 6 credit hours per semester. During the semester from February 1966 through June 1966, C attended both colleges, each of which is accredited by a nationally-recognized accrediting agency and, thus, is an educational institution as defined in section 202(d)(7)(C) of the Act. X State College indicated it would have considered C in full-time attendance had he taken all his subjects at that college.
Section 202(d)(1) of the Social Security Act as amended provides in pertinent part that a child of an insured worker may be entitled to child's insurance benefits if, among other requirements, such child has filed an application, is unmarried, and has not attained age 18 or is a full-time student and has not attained age 22.
The term "full-time student" is defined in section 202(d)(7)(A) of the Act in pertinent part as:
- * * * an individual who is in full-time attendance as a student at an educational institution, as determined by the Secretary (in accordance with regulations prescribed by him) in the light of the standards and practices of the institutions involved * * *.
Section 404.320(c)(2) of the Social Security Administration Regulations No. 4 (20 CFR 404.320(c)(2)) clarifies the term "full-time attendance." Ordinarily, a student enrolled in a junior college, college or university is in "full-time attendance" at an educational institution if he is enrolled in a noncorrespondence course and is carrying a subject load which is considered full-time for day students under the institution's standards and practices.
Confirmations were received from the registrars of X State College and Y Junior College verifying C's enrollment for subjects totalling 6 credit hours during the spring semester at each college. The question to be resolved here is whether C's simultaneous enrollment at two educational institutions for less than full-time attendance under the standards of each institution, but whose combined rate of attendance would be considered full-time attendance had all courses been taken at one institution, may be considered as full-time attendance. All other requirements having been met, C would, thus, be entitled to child's insurance benefits as a full-time student.
While a student generally pursues a course of study at only one educational institution at a time, the full-time student provisions of the Social Security Act do not preclude simultaneous attendance at more than one educational institution. Accordingly, the Social Security Administration adopts the viewpoint that when a student is simultaneously attending more than one school, the subject load taken at all schools may be combined in determining full-time attendance. Full-time attendance will be found if one of the schools would consider the student in full-time attendance under its standards had he taken all his work there, and other pertinent requirements are met.
In this case, X State College indicated that it would have considered C in full-time attendance had he taken all his courses at that college. Hence, from February 1966 through June 1966 he was in "full-time attendance" as a student within the meaning of section 404.320(c)(2) of Regulations No. 4.
Accordingly, it is held that C was a full-time student within the meaning of section 202(d)(7)(A) of the Act, and therefore he is entitled to child's insurance benefits for the months February through June 1966.
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