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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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I have a 28 year old son who is mentally ill, paranoid schizophrenic

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I have a 28 year old son who is mentally ill, paranoid schizophrenic and bi-polar, and has resided at may home for most of the year. He has not held a job or earned any income, but has not filed for disability. If I claim him as a dependent, how can I substantaiate his disability. Will a psychiatrist's statement be enough? Also, would my payments for his insurance and mental health care be deductible?

Hello tseung,


Does your son have any income at all for the year? If so, is it more than $3,650 for the year?


Have you provided for more than half of his support?



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

He did have some income early in the year before he quit his job. I'll have to find out how much. I'm not sure if it exceeded $3650.00.

I have easily provided for more than half of his support.

I'm leaving for a meeting with his psychologist right now, so I won't be able to respond further until I'm back.

Hello again tseung,


You may a claim a child of any age as a dependent who is considered to be permanently and totally disabled.


A child is considered permanently and totally disabled for tax purposes if both of the following apply:

  • He or she cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition
  • A doctor determines the condition has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least a year or can lead to death

So you could claim your child as a dependent if he meets both of these definitions, and if you have a statement from his doctor which attests to these conditions.


If for some reason he does not qualify to be considered totally and permanently disabled, then you may also be able to claim him under the "qualifying relative" rules. Under these rules you may claim you child of any age as long as he does not have income of his own of more than $3,650 for the year and as long as you provide more than half of his support.


If you can qualify to claim him as a dependent either as a disabled child or as a qualifying relative, then you would also be able to claim deductions for this health insurance and mental health care.


If this was helpful please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.


Thank you tseung



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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your prompt and detailed response. It has been very helpful!

Thank you tseung. Happy holidays to you and your son.