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Private Home Defined

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

917. Private Home Defined

917.1 What is a "private home"?

A "private home" is the fixed place of residence of one or more people. Any shelter used as a dwelling may, depending on the circumstances, be considered as a private home. For example, a tent, boat, trailer, or a room or suite in a hospital, hotel, sanatorium or nursing home may all be considered private homes. A cooperative boarding and lodging facility may be a private home. Company-operated facilities are not private homes

917.2 Is an apartment house considered a private home?

In an apartment house, each apartment together with its private stairways, halls, and porches, etc. is a private home. Parts of the premises devoted to common use, such as the office, furnace-room, lawns, public stairways, halls, and porches are not a part of the private home.

917.3 Is a house used for room and board considered a private home?

If a house is used mainly as a commercial rooming or boarding house, only that part of the house that is used as the operator's living quarters is considered to be a private home.

917.4 Do domestic workers who work in a property being rented as a private home work in the private home of the employer?

If you are a domestic worker employed by landlords or rental agencies to do work in or about property being rented as a private home, you are not performing work in the private home of the employer.

Last Revised: Jul. 7, 2004

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