Being able to claim someone as a dependent entitles you to take an exemption on your taxes. If your dependent receives Supplemental Security Income checks each month, it won’t disqualify you from claiming her exemption. An exemption is a deduction for a fixed amount, established by the federal government each year, which lowers your taxable income – the figure you calculate your income tax on.
As a Qualifying Child
Satisfying the qualifying child rules is one of two ways to claim a dependent. A qualifying child covers your children, including foster and stepchildren; half, full and step siblings; and any descendant of these individuals. Since no income limitations exist, the fact that your dependent receives SSI checks because of a disability or blindness is irrelevant. There is, however, the requirement that the child not provide more than half of her own support. As long as her SSI checks aren’t used to pay more than one-half of her living expenses, and the other dependent requirements are satisfied, SSI isn’t a barrier to claiming a dependent.
As a Qualifying Relative
If the person can’t be a qualifying child -- if she's your mother, for example -- you might still be able to claim her as a qualifying relative. In addition to meeting residency and support requirements, a qualifying relative’s total gross income has to be less than the exemption amount for the year. Gross income excludes tax-exempt income, such as SSI. Therefore, the amount and frequency of a dependent’s SSI payments doesn’t prevent you from claiming her exemption.