Can I still claim my mom as a dependent for tax purposes if she goes on Medicaid?
Yes, in some cases, you can still claim your mom as a dependent even if she is a Medicaid recipient. However, in order to claim this tax credit, the following criteria must be met:
– Your mom is a U.S. citizen, national, or resident alien, or a Canadian or Mexican resident
– Your mom must not have had an annual income greater than $4,150 (this figure is for 2018)
– Your mom is not married, or if she is married, she is not filing a joint tax return (with limited exceptions)
– You must have provided more than 50% of your mom’s support during the tax year. This includes the cost of housing, utilities, food, clothing, and medical expenses.
Please note that if your mom is in a nursing home, it is very unlikely that she can be declared as a dependent. This is because Medicaid covers the cost of her nursing home care, which means it would be highly improbable that you are paying more than 50% of her support.
In the event that your mom is receiving long-term care benefits via a HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) Medicaid Waiver, the ability to claim your mom as a dependent will depend on the services your mom is receiving and how much they cost. Although the available benefits vary by state and waiver program, the following may be provided: Adult day care, respite care, personal care assistance, homemaker services, and assisted living services. Essentially, if the portion that Medicaid is paying for long-term care and supportive services is greater than 50% of your mom’s support, you cannot claim her as a dependent.
If your mom is receiving regular Medicaid, often referred to as Aged, Blind & Disabled Medicaid, the likelihood of claiming her as a dependent is higher than the two above situations. With regular Medicaid, basic healthcare needs are covered. While some state plans do cover the cost of personal care assistance in the home, the majority of long-term care services and supports are available through HCBS waivers. Therefore, the amount the state would be paying for your mom’s care under the regular state plan should be less than if your mom was receiving waiver services and significantly less than nursing home Medicaid.