Are students covered for Social Security and Medicare?

Generally, students are excluded from Social Security and Medicare coverage if the student is performing services in the employ of a school, college or university where the student is enrolled and regularly attending classes.

However, some students are covered for Social Security and Medicare under the State's Section 218 Agreement. Most States opted to exclude students from the coverage under the State's Section 218 Agreement. Some States elected to provide Social Security and Medicare coverage to services performed by students in certain schools. To find the coverage status of students under each State, click the Student Coverage chart. In those States with limited student coverage, contact the State Social Security Administrator to find out which schools have coverage for students.

If the State covered student services under a Section 218 Agreement, can the State modify its Agreement to exclude students from coverage?

In 1972 and 1998, Federal law provided a limited period of time for States to modify the State's Section 218 Agreement to exclude services performed by students employed by the school, college or university where they are enrolled and regularly attending classes. If the State didn't choose to exclude the students at that time, it cannot do so later without legislative authority. Likewise, if the State opted to exclude student services, it cannot again modify the Agreement to extend coverage to such services without legislative authority.

Does the student exclusion apply to work done during the holidays and summer break?

The student exclusion applies only during periods of regular school attendance, whether during the regular academic year or in summer session. The exclusion does not apply to work done during summer vacation if the student is not attending a summer session. Services performed by students during the holidays (e.g., Christmas break), weekends, seasonal breaks and between semesters falling within the academic year when classes are not scheduled are excluded.

SSA References?

  • Section 210(a)(10) of the Social Security Act
  • Section 218(c)(5) of the Act

IRS Reference

  • IRS Revenue Procedure 98-16