Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a financial program offered by the Social Security Administration to provide benefits to disabled individuals or those who are aged 65 and older. There are specific regulations for this financial assistance, which means claiming a dependent who receives SSI can be tricky.
If your dependent receives SSI, this doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from claiming them – however, there are additional rules to take into consideration.
Qualifying as a Dependent for SSI Disability Benefits
There are two types of dependents that are legally recognized: qualifying children and qualifying relatives, with slightly different regulations for each.
There are several details to keep in mind when considering whether your child qualifies as a dependent. Legal requirements include:
- Can be no older than 18 years old as of the last day of the tax year, or;
- Must be under the age of 24 years old if they are a full-time student (an exception to this rule is permanent disability of the child)
- Must live with you for more than half the year
- Must be related to you – this definition by the IRS is relatively loose. In this case, “related” can mean your own sibling or half-sibling, a stepchild, or a foster child placed with you by an agency
If your child receives SSI, this can really complicate the situation. You are still able to claim your child as a dependent on your taxes if they receive SSI. That said, you can’t claim your child’s SSI benefits on your taxes because it’s simply not your income in the eyes of the government, regardless of the age of your child.
In non-children qualifying situations, it’s extremely common for relatives to be receiving SSI benefits which must be taken into account.
You must be paying for or supporting over half of their living expenses, regardless of the type of relative. Depending on the situation, some relatives may be required to live with you all year. Other relatives, such as your parents, can live elsewhere under the condition that you are supporting them financially. This financial support can come in the form of housing, medical expenses, food, or other essentials to overall wellbeing. There is also an income cap for qualifying relatives that changes based on the tax year.
Can You Claim Someone on SSI?
The simple answer: yes.
Generally speaking, if your SSI-collecting dependent meets all other regulations required, you can legally claim them. That said, you must account for these benefits when considering their living expenses. Calculating benefits can be complicated, so it’s best to consult a disability lawyer at this point for professional guidance.
Speak With Professional Disability Attorneys
At Woodruff & Mathis, our disability attorneys have over 20 years of experience with Social Security cases. Hiring a disability lawyer is a no-brainer – we can help you navigate the complicated system of Social Security benefits.
To speak with our experienced attorneys at Woodruff & Mathis, please contact us today!