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Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

Separation Due to Child's School Attendance

318. Separation Due to Child's School Attendance

318.1 Can a parent meet the in-care requirements when separated from a child because of the child's school attendance?

When the child's school attendance is the reason for your separation from a child under age 16, you may have a child in care if:

  1. The child is not under the sole control and jurisdiction of the school; and

  2. The child spends an annual vacation of at least 30 days with you (unless it is not possible for the child to return home during vacation).

318.2 Which parent is considered to have the child in care in the case of a separation?

If you are separated from the child's other parent, you may be found to have a child in care if:

  1. The child normally returns to you during vacations; and

  2. The school authorities look to you when they have a question concerning the child's welfare.

Last Revised: March, 2001

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