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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34992
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My husband is an E-4 in the Navy. We have recently taken my

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My husband is an E-4 in the Navy. We have recently taken my 70 year old widowed Mother to live with us because she is at risk living alone in a rented apartment due to health reasons (insulin dependent diabetes, total knee replacements, etc.). The Navy says that we must provide >51% of her financial needs in order to claim her as a dependent. She has her retirement and does not need that support from us but she does need help with her physical and emotional needs and we need to make certain she is safe from falls and that she eats appropriately and takes her insulin as needed. We do not want to place her in an assisted living facility because she should be with her family. We need appropriate housing for her such as first floor and a bedroom for her. How can we claim her without her becoming a financial dependent? She does not need an ID card or medical care...just to be allowed to live with us in military housing. Thank you for your answer.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Ma'am, I am sorry to have to bear bad news. The rules that allow you (your spouse) to claim a parent as a dependent are clear.

This is what the rule provides

In order to qualify as a secondary dependent, the dependent’s income, not including the member’s contribution, must be less than one-half of their actual monthly living expenses; and the member’s contribution to the dependent/household must be more than one-half of the dependent’s actual monthly living expenses. Supporting documentation of living expenses and the member’s contribution to the household is always required

This comes from Title 37 US Code Section 401. You can see the law here

So if the goal is dependent status (which would allow her to live in military housing) then you will need to meet this requirement. There is not a waiver provision in the code, so there is not any way to qualify apart from meeting the 51% test

Let me know if you have more questions, happy to help if I can

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your response. We do not need to claim her as a dependent. We would like to provide her with a safe place to live by helping to prevent falls due to her knee replacements, supervision of her insulin intake and the opportunity to spend her final days surrounded by those who love her instead of being placed in a nursing home. So, our question is can she live with us without us getting in trouble? Thank you again.
Ahh...that raises a separate question.

IF you could qualify her as a dependent that would make it easy. As a dependent she would be allowed to live with you.

Since she is not, that sets up a separate request. The Base commander (for the base where your spouse is stationed) is the authority for this. Your spouse can file a request, through his chain of command, to allow your mother to live with you.

What would be helpful would be if you can get your mom's doctor to write a note that states why living with you would be in your mom's best interests.

Ultimately, the base commander has the final say...there is no "right" to have ones parents live in base housing.

But if you can show why this is needed. Particularly if you can get mom's doctor to state why this would be good for her health? I would expect the base commander to favorably consider the request.

Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
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