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What does "full-time" mean?

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

344. What does "full-time" mean?

A student is attending an educational institution "full-time" if he or she is carrying a subject load that is considered full-time for day students under the standards and practices of the educational institution. An individual also may be considered a student regularly attending school when he/she is instructed at home in accordance with the home school law of the State or other jurisdiction in which he/she resides. However, a student will not be considered in full-time attendance if:

  1. The student is enrolled in a course of study of less than 13 school weeks' duration;

  2. The student's scheduled attendance is less than 20 hours a week (unless an exception applies);

  3. The student is being paid while attending the educational institution by his or her employer who has requested or required that the student attend the educational institution; or

  4. The student meets the requirements for suspension of benefits as required by prisoner or fugitive felon provisions (see §1850).

Last Revised: Aug. 2, 2007

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Good Article on Social Security Benefits for Divorced People

This is a good article which outlines Social Security benefits for divorced people. The article refers to "divorced women", but it also applies to divorced men (especially if the woman had higher earnings).

Excerpt :

The law says a divorced woman, who was married to her ex-husband for a minimum of 10 years, is due essentially the same benefits as a woman who is currently married to her husband.

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