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Both Parents will be Unemployed

NeedmoreecNeedmoreec Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
My parent's EFC is 0000. Currently, as of now, my dad is working but he is of age to receive SS Benefits (the ones you receive at 65). He has a myriad of health issues, including being unable to afford a medication that costs $1000 per month, and we are barely getting by.

The government won't give him welfare healthcare unless he goes on SS benefits and quits his job (I don't know but it's something along the lines of meeting specific income qualifications etc, etc), which means both he and my mom won't be working, so effectively, both my parents will be unemployed and their only source of income would be my aunt/sister paying for rent/misc living expenses and us qualifying for welfare. I understand that you need to file a tax return in order to do a FAFSA, but if both of my parents are unemployed and getting by via welfare/outside help/SS benefits, will that adversely affect my financial aid, they won't have to file a tax return. Would that affect my financial aid in any way? Thank you.
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Replies to: Both Parents will be Unemployed

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 68,518 Senior Member
    This is a little off topic for a financial aid forum...but won’t your dad be eligible for Medicare when he turns 65?

    My social security income IS taxable income...and depending on the amount, your parent might need to file.

    When are you starting college? And when are both of your parents uniting work?

    Any chance your mom could get a job?

    If your parents REALLY aren’t required to file a tax return, they would complete a non-filers statement and submit that to the colleges.

    Will this affect your aid? Well...most colleges don’t meet full need for all accepted students. If your parent income is $0 and your FAFSA EFC is $0, you would get a $6000 Pell Grant and a $5500 Direct Loan as a first year college student. That is the only guaranteed aid.

    Have you taken the SAT or ACT? What are your scores.

    What is your GPA?

    Does your state have any grant aid for low income students?
  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    edited May 14
    Don't worry and check with your guidance counselor or email your target colleges. Even if you have to file a simple 1040, you'll still get full financial aid. You have a genuine need and this is a case for which these resources were put in place to help. You can ask your school to find a volunteer organization to help with paperwork. Best of luck with everything.
  • NeedmoreecNeedmoreec Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    What forum would I post this in, I apologize for putting it in the wrong forum.

    I wasn't aware that social security income was taxable, if it is, then I suppose they would file.

    I'm an incoming freshman for College but I still need to fill out a FAFSA every year when I'm in college, I'm going in on a full tuition scholarship and the rest is covered by federal loans/pell grant.

    My mom and dad are stuck in a bad cycle where they don't speak English and in a chain of unfortunate events ended up stuck in a state that's sort of unforgiving to non-english speaking immigrants.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 17,059 Senior Member
    Even if your parents aren't required to file a tax return, it is often easier to just file it and then you can use the DRT when you file FAFSA.

    If your FAFSA EFC is already $0, it won't go any lower.
  • NeedmoreecNeedmoreec Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    Would I file a 1040 or would my parents? I would still be eligible for financial aid and to fill out the FAFSA right?
  • NeedmoreecNeedmoreec Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    Ok thank you, I was told in this thread that social security benefits are taxable, so I guess that they would be filing a tax return for that. I was scared that them both being unemployed and being totally dependent on welfare/outside help would screw me over for financial aid somehow. I've heard stories online of people not being eligible for financial aid because their parents didn't file a tax return and thus, couldn't fill out the FAFSA.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 68,518 Senior Member
    edited May 14
    Your post IS on the right forum for financial aid advice...I was commenting on your dad’s eligibility for Medicare when he turns 65.
    I'm an incoming freshman for College but I still need to fill out a FAFSA every year when I'm in college, I'm going in on a full tuition scholarship and the rest is covered by federal loans/pell grant.

    Great that you have your college costs fully funded!!

    I gather you filed your FAFSA for 2018-2019. That one uses income from 2016.

    The 2019-2020 FAFSA will use income from 2017...last year.

    The 2020-2021 FAFSA will use income from 2018...this year.

    Social security does count as income.

    If you worked, then you would file your own 1040 A or 1040 EZ form.

    Your parents could file a joint return, and they would file their own form.

    What did you do when you did your FAFSA for this coming academic year?
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 17,059 Senior Member
    You would file a tax return for any income you have, say from a job or interest on a bank account. Your parents would most likely file for their income and take you as a dependent.

    Now you or they might earn an amount under the minimum required to be required to file, but they (and you) can still file. Many do to get any credits or refunds of payments made through an employer.
  • NeedmoreecNeedmoreec Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    edited May 14
    They already filed for (2016 & 2017(the most recent one)). A situation arose just today and there's some hoops my dad has to jump through in order to get the health care he needs via Medicare. The problem is that there is a monthly income limit and apparently if we are receiving government aid, he has no choice but to file for his social pension.

    I also misunderstood and apparently he will still be working if he receives his social pension, he just can't work as much as he is right now. My mother will still be unemployed. Will him living off a mixture of work/social pension (age 65) affect my aid in any shape or form? I don't care if my EFC goes up a bit, I'll work the difference, I'm just desperate to keep my scholarship.

    Thank you for replying!
  • NeedmoreecNeedmoreec Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    edited May 14
    Thank you for replying. I also had no idea that Social Security Pensions were taxable. I also misunderstood and my dad said he will still be working. I would like to know if him living off a dual income of Social Pension/Work will affect me filling out the fafsa some how? He has debt so they will be garnishing some of his pension plus he will be working less as well. Thank you!
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 68,518 Senior Member
    You can work full time and draw a full time salary and still be eligible for Medicare at age 65.

    Now...if he is looking at being eligible for Medicaid...that is another story.

    If your dad works and earns too much per year, he won’t be able to collect social security...but that has nothing to do with his eligibility for Medicare. You don’t have to be retired to collect Medicare. You have to be 65 or over.

    I think you might be confusing eligibility for social security benefit with eligibility for Medicare.

    Your parents can make an appointment at a social security office to get their questions answered.

    But regarding your financial aid....your parents can still file a tax return. Your aid won’t be affected by unemployment.

    BUT really...if your EFC is currently $0, what makes you think that would change??
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 26,516 Senior Member
    edited May 14
    Not all of Social Security income is necessarily taxable. It depends on total income and a formula.

    I think, at least in part, OP may be confusing SS and SSDI and then Medicare?? Maybe Medicaid? How old is Dad?

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 17,059 Senior Member
    And if you are talking about a pension, did your father work for a state or federal government or the railroad? If so, he may get the pension and not social security. Don't turn yourself upside down about this. He gets the benefits he gers, you file the FAFSA and answer the questions asked.

    He also might be trying to qualify for medicaid, as medicaid often covers more than medicare.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 68,518 Senior Member
    While all of the SS income might not be taxable...the parents CAN still file a tax return.

    At this point...in 2018...the father is still working. So really this tax filing thing isn’t going to be an issue until the 2021-2022 school year when the 2019 income is used...of then.
  • NeedmoreecNeedmoreec Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    He has to jump through some hoops in order to be eligible for Medicaid(sorry not medicare)/social security benefits. We're just trying to make sense of everything. He did not work for the gvt/railroad so I guess I shouldn't call it a pension, sorry about that.

    It wasn't that I was worried about my EFC changing, it was that somehow, there was a miscommunication and I thought my parents weren't going to work and just live off of welfare/relatives/SS benefits and I've read stories online where students got screwed over because their parents didn't file a tax return. I guess I freaked out for nothing.

    Thanks so much for replying!
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