SSR 67-12: SECTION 218(s). -- STATE AND LOCAL COVERAGE -- COMMISSIONER'S RULING ON STATE'S REQUEST FOR REVIEW -- INDIANA SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS
20 CFR 404.1270-404.1274
- Pursuant to the State's request for review under section 218(s) of the Social Security Act, the Commissioner affirmed assessments made on the basis that services performed by drivers in township-owned school buses engaged under standard written contracts pursuant to the Indiana School Bus Act to transport children to and from school, were performed as employees of the townships and not as independent contractors, and thus were covered under section 218 of the Social Security Act and the Indiana agreement for coverage of State and local employees.
Section 218(s) of the Social Security Act, as amended, provides that where an assessment of an amount due by a State under a Federal-State agreement has been made pursuant to section 218 or a State's claim for a credit or refund of an overpayment under such agreement has been disallowed or a State has been allowed a credit or refund of an overpayment under such agreement, the Secretary shall, upon written request filed by the State within a stipulated time, review such assessment, disallowance or allowance stating the basis therefor. The Secretary has delegated to the Commissioner of Social Security authority to make reviews and findings and to give notice of his findings as required by section 218(s).
The State of Indiana timely requested a review pursuant to section 218(s) of the assessments made pursuant to determinations that services performed by drivers in township-owned school buses were performed as employees of the townships and covered under the Federal-State agreement made pursuant to section 218.
The facts in the matter are that the drivers were engaged under standard written contracts pursuant to the Indiana School Bus Act to transport children to and from school; the drivers were required to perform the services personally; the hours of service and the routes followed were established by the townships, which also had the right to make changes in such matters; the townships had first call on the drivers' time and efforts; compensation for the services was in the form of a daily wage; the drivers had no investment in the business or opportunity for profit and loss, as the townships owned the buses and paid all the maintenance costs; the drivers were required to comply with rules and regulations issued by the townships; and the townships had the right to change the drivers' methods and to direct them otherwise on how to do the work.
The Administration's assessments were made on the basis of its finding that the school bus drivers were employees under the usual common-law rules. (Regulations No. 4, sec. 404.1104(c) sets out the rules.)
The Commissioner found, on review pursuant to the State's request, that under these circumstances the school bus drivers were subject to control by the townships to the extent necessary to constitute an employer-employee relationship under the usual common-law rules. On the basis of this finding, the Commissioner affirmed the assessments made.