SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home916. Domestic Service Defined

916.1 What does domestic service mean?

“Domestic service” means work normally performed as an essential part of household duties. Domestic service contributes to the maintenance of the employer's residence or administers to the personal wants and comforts of the employer, other members of the household, and guests.

916.2 What kind of work is included under domestic service?

In general, domestic service includes work performed by:

  • baby sitters

  • butlers

  • caretakers

  • chauffeurs of family automobiles

  • companions

  • cooks

  • footmen

  • furnace men

  • gardeners

  • governesses

  • grooms

  • handymen

  • housekeepers

  • housemen

  • janitors

  • laundresses

  • maids

  • nursemaids

  • seamstresses

  • valets

  • waiters

  • waitresses

  • watchmen

Last Revised: Jun. 30, 2004