Question for the Money Doctors
Question submitted on Feb 25, 2023.
QuestionIf I claim my mother as a dependent, can she still qualify for food stamps and healthcare coverage through the state - Medicare?
The first thing to note is that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) does vary by state, so it would be wise to check with your local agency. However, the gross income/net income limits are determined by the individual’s household total. Assuming you do not live with your mother, then claiming her as a dependent would not affect her household total.
For her Medicare – this will not be affected by being claimed as a dependent on your return. The benefits received would be determined by only her earnings, income, etc.
However, to claim your mother as a dependent per the IRS guidelines, there are four tests that must be met to be considered a qualifying relative.
- Not a qualifying child
- Member of household or relationship test (which includes: Father, mother, grandparent or other direct ancestor, but not foster parent)
- Gross income test (gross income of less than $4,400 in 2022) and
- Support test (Did you provide more than half the person’s total support for the year)
Keep in mind, to meet the support test, you must have provided more than 50% of your mother’s total support for the tax year. State benefit payments like welfare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, or housing assistance are generally considered support provided by the state, not by the taxpayer. This means that when you are determining if you provided more than 50% of your mother’s total support, you need to remove any benefit payments she received as any portion of the support that either you OR she provided to herself.
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