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Will claiming my parents as dependents jeopardize their eligibility for Medi-Cal?

Dear Advocate:


My parents are low income, and my husband and I provide financial support for more than half of their living expenses. My tax consultant recommended claiming them as dependents on my taxes. They are currently both on Medicare and Medi-Cal. Will claiming my parents as dependents jeopardize their eligibility for Medi-Cal?

Sincerely,
Taxed in Tuolumne

Dear Taxed,

Currently Medi-Cal does not use someone’s tax status as a part of the determination for services. If you claim your parents as dependents it will not affect their eligibility for Medi-Cal. However, keep in mind that if you pay their entire rent, the amount you pay could be considered in-kind income, which could affect their eligibility (22 CCR 50509, 50511). As long as your parents continue to pay a portion of their rent, even as little as $10.00 a month, your contribution will not be considered in-kind income.