I am my father's Social Security representative. Does that make him my dependent?

Asked by

I am my father's representative for Social Security which means his monthly checks are sent to me to be put into a bank account in my name, but I'm clearly labeled as his payee on the checks. Legally, is the money considered his or mine? I don't know whether to continue filing his taxes normally with my mother's or claim him on my husband's and my taxes.

Answers 1 to 3 of 3
Expert Answer
26 helpful answers
The term "dependent" can mean different things, but when filing income taxes, a person is your dependent if you provide more than half of the person's support, among other requirements. See www.irs.gov Publication 17 for more details on all the requirements.
You should call Social Security and ask that question. My guess is that your father's social security income is his, not yours. It's just being sent to you because he is not able to handle his financial affairs on his own. Because you are acting on his behalf does not make him your dependent. There are very strict rules about claiming a parent as a dependent and I think you can search that out on this website or just online.
No, it doesn't make him your dependent. I am the representative payee for my son who is receives SSI. As a representative payee, you agree to oversee and make sure the money is being spent on whatever your father needs. You will be responsible for filling out an annual report that tells Social Security how the money has been spent for the year.

When a rep payee is appointed, it means that the recipient is not considered able to handle his own funds appropriately. The funds need to be spent on things like your father's housing, clothing and food.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support