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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10898
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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I have been the caregiver for my mother since May of 2016.

Customer Question

I have been the caregiver for my mother since May of 2016. Will I be able to claim her as a dependent on my taxes?
JA: The Accountant will know how to help. Please tell me more, so we can help you best.
Customer: She is retired and she receives social security but that has been going to pay for her day care as I work every day. I am asking if it will affect her benefits if I claim her as a dependent. She lives with me and I take care of her needs.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Accountant should know?
Customer: No, I'm not even sure I'm asking the right questions, this is all new to me.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

Hi. I can help here. My name's Lane.

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First, I hold a law degree, with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in finance a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, to clients on three continents since 1986

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But maybe even more important is the fact that I am in almost the same exact situation ... (however we moved my mom fro adult day care to memory care fairly recently, but I was where you are for several years.

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Bear with me for a moment while I prepare a foundational response ... We can then go from there

Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

Dependent on taxes.

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The test for that is as follows:

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An individual must meet all 4 of these requirements in order to be considered your Qualifying Relative.

  1. Not a Qualifying Child: The individual cannot be your Qualifying Child and cannot be someone else's Qualifying Child. They are a Qualifying Child if they meet all the requirements, whether or not they are claimed as a dependent.
  2. Relationship: The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household (a person who is not actually related to you may meet the requirements in this way), or be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew. Remember that a child whom you legally adopted is always considered to be your child. Also note that, for the purposes of this requirement, divorce or death does not change any relationship which was established by marriage (e.g. son-in-law, daughter-in-law, etc.)
  3. Gross Income: The person must have made less than $4,000 in gross income during 2016.
  4. Support: You must have provided more than half of the individual's total support during the year.

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So more than likely, she qualifies as your tax dependent.

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Now, as to whether the help you provide will hurt her benefist; That likely only be true if she receives SSI.

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SSI and Social Security Disability (SSDI) are different:

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The main difference between Social Security Disability (SSD, or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the fact that SSD is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits, while SSI disability benefits are available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who haven't earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.

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While many people don't distinguish between SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), they are two completely different governmental programs.

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And only SSI is means tested.

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SSDI AND regular retirement benefits, both being qualified for based on having enough work credits, cannot be impaired by any help you provide, financial and otherwise.

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The other mean tested program that might be there is Medicaid ... but the eligibility for THAT isn't impaired by any help YOU might provide... but rather by her having too much of her OWN INCOME or assets to qualify.

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That's a pretty good place to start ... let me know what question you have from here:

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Lane

Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

So to recap, your taking her as a dependent on your taxes is not going to impair her benefits at all. The help you provide would only hurt if she is receiving SSI (as opposed to SSDI OR regular Social Security Retirement).

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I can make a call offer if you'd like.

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Let me know

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Please let me know if you have ANY questions at all, before rating me

But if this has helped, and you don’t have other questions, I would appreciate a positive rating (using those stars on your screen – and clicking submit)

That’s the only way JustAnswer will compensate me for the work here.

Thanks,

Lane

Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

Hi,

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I’m just checking back in to see how things are going.

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Did my answer help?

If this HAS helped, and you DON’T have other questions … I'd appreciate a positive rating (using the stars or faces on your screen, and then clicking “submit")

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But if you need more on this, please let me know.

Lane