January 14, 2003
Mrs. L v. Office of Personnel Management
Widow's benefits cut off because of homeschooling

Filed: April 11, 2000, Adams County.

Nature of Case: When Mrs. L's husband died, she and her son began receiving government benefits due to Mr. L's job. These benefits gave her enough income so that she could homeschool her son. However, when he turned 18, the Office of Personnel Management cut off the benefits, even though he was still enrolled as a homeschooler under Ohio law. The OPM claimed that he was not enrolled in an educational institution recognized under federal law. This goes directly against OPM policy as stated by Kay Coles James, Director of OPM, in her letter to Home School Legal Defense Association of February 13, 2002. HSLDA has filed a Request for Reconsideration so that our member can continue homeschooling. The Request for Reconsideration was filed with OPM on June 5, 2002. The Office of Personnel Management denied the Request on October 25, 2002, and HSLDA appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Status: On December 24, 2002, OPM informed the Protection Board that it was rescinding the decision and would reinstate Mrs. L's benefits. The Board then dismissed the appeal as unnecessary.

Last Updated: January 14, 2003.

 Other Resources

Kay Coles James' Letter to HSLDA