All Things Tax

All Things Tax

Like the title says, from the filing process and tax questions to tax policy and reform, you can search and share All Things Tax here. This is the place to find answers to all your general questions that don't fall under the other categories. And just a reminder: questions about software or online filing should be posted in DIY Products.

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-13-2018

Dependent Parents Income Question

[ Edited ]

Thanks in advance for helping people with questions!


My in-laws live with us and I want to claim them as dependents.  They qualify with everything except I'm not sure about their income question.  They do receive Social Security, but they get two checks from Social Security.


They each receive $210 for SSI and $537 for SSA.  Does the SSA count as income?  Would this disqualify them?  Would me claiming them as a dependent effect their SSI and SSA checks?

Council Member
Posts: 514
Registered: ‎04-06-2016

Re: Dependent Parents Income Question

The income requirement is:

-- Did the person have gross income (excluding exempt income such as social security) less than the exemption amount ($4050 in 2017)?

Neither SSA or SSI will be included in their gross income for that requirement, so if that's their only income then it appears they would satisfy that requirement. 


Since you say they "qualify with everything", I'm assuming you mean meet the other requirements. Make sure you don't overlook the one about whether they're required to file a return this year. If they are filing MFJ (married filing joint) and are required to file a return (i.e. they aren't filing a return just to get a refund of taxes paid) then you can't claim them.


Regarding whether or not your claiming your parents will affect their SSA and SSI checks, It won't affect their SSA checks since those are based solely on their work history.  However, SSI is based on need, so those checks MIGHT be affected if you claim their dependency exemption since you're acknowledging that you're providing over half of their support. Your support might put them over the eligibility limit for SSI payments, making them ineligible for them.



Associate (Neighbor)
Posts: 77
Registered: ‎03-22-2016

Re: Dependent Parents Income Question

Dear yihochin:


Another thing:  You don't claim the in-laws as a couple.  If they both qualify, you claim them as two individuals.  It's quite possible that one will qualify but the other will not.  If that happens, the one that doesn't qualify will have to file Married Filing Separate.


Hope the foregoing is helpful.



(Tax Analyst)