Can I claim my mother as a dependent on my taxes?

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I am 43 years old and make about 60k a year. I am a single mother of 2 children 9 and 8. I recently met a wonderful man and moved in with him we share the costs of housing and my part is about 1500 a month (plus all of my other expenses, kids, school, car, loans, etc). I think I am in the 20 percent tax bracket because at the end of the month...I have no money left. My mother who is 73 and single all of my life has been experiencing multiple health problems and has no money or property to her name. She recently moved into the basement of my partner's house. My mother does get about 1100 a month in Social Security- I convinced her to see if she could claim her dead ex-husband's SS benefits and she qualified...hers would have been about 200 a month-. I have not claimed her as a dependent as it seems that someone at work either told me I couldn't or said if she is destitute, it wouldn't be a good idea. Who should I go to to find out? A lawyer or a CPA? My partner and I probably won't get married because of the tax penalty we would face as his income is just a little more than mine and he pays for family expenses for his kids that live in another state. I would like to be able to claim some of my mother's expenses but am just not sure if in some way my income would add to hers if I needed to get her in assisted care or nursing home later and she was listed as my dependent?? I definitely cannot afford external care for her right now as my grandmother is in a home now and the costs are astronomical!!! Any advice?

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A CPA should be able to tell you if you can claim her as a dependent, but I think you have enough complications that consulting an elder law attorney or an estate attorney is a good idea. She should likely be on Medicaid if she is not, so please do get advice.
Good luck,
Carol
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