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Can't I claim it as income and pay social security taxes on it? I already retired two months ago, with a small pension, and am waiting until I'm 65 to draw social security.

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Yes & personally I think it's a very smart thing to do.

Have either of you filed taxes yet? If not, I'd book an appointment asap with an elder attorney to draw up a personal services contract on all this. They can then line you up with a CPA to deal with taxes. Mom probably hopefully can file a late w2 for you for last years payments. Whatever the case you are all set for 2015.
Mom pays for all these costs too. Ask the law office what data they want brought in for mom - you want to be organized and bring all in to initial meeting or drop off in advance.

If in the future, mom needs a higher level of care in a facility and she needs to apply for Medicaid, there will be no issue on the $ she paid you.

Also if you are living in her home, as legal what system your state does for the caregiver exemption for estate recovery / MERP. So you know what to expect & need to do.
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