Many governmental programs require specific documentation regarding the educational status of your children before they will provide the services and benefits that stem from those programs. For the families who are enrolled in public or private schools, this is not difficult. A registration with the school board or student ID cards generally suffice as proof of student status. As a homeschool family, what will you provide to the government agencies when they ask for proof of your child’s student status?
For example, in 2011 the letters sent from the Canada Revenue Agency to parents requesting the Child and Family Benefits and Credits did not include an option for parents to declare that their children were educated at home. In response, HSLDA provided letters addressed to the Canada Revenue Agency for our members, and the CRA, in turn, changed the wording to their document. As of January 2012, the letters from the CRA state “….or, if your child(ren) is (are) being home schooled, please provide a letter from the school board or appropriate educational authority confirming that you have a home school arrangement…” HSLDA is becoming accepted as an “appropriate educational authority” that may be accepted by the agencies in question to confirm your status as a homeschooling family. If you require a letter to confirm your children’s schooling status, please contact our office and we will do our best to assist you.
Similarly, for families who have applied for the Canada Pension Plan Surviving Child’s Benefit and Canada Pension Plan Disabled Contributor’s Child’s Benefit, HSLDA has provided the letters and proof of schooling that Service Canada required. There are several variations of letters from Service Canada; however, the one constant is that each of them does require a “declaration of attendance at school or university”. When some of our members approached us with this scenario, we were able to provide a letter that was accepted as proof of membership, and proof of schooling. If you find yourself in a similar scenario, we may be able to help you as well.
Writing letters for government agencies is just one of the many legal services that HLSDA provides to its members. It is important to note that we may only be able to help those who were already members of HSLDA prior to their receiving the request for information from the government. It is also important to note that, while we will do our best to provide the necessary paperwork, each scenario has many variables, and the governmental agencies may not always recognize the documentation we can provide.
However, HSLDA is increasingly becoming recognized as an ‘appropriate educational authority’. As such, we are committed to using that reputation to give you the support and representation that you need.