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I am trying to help a neighbor determine if she should file as a single person or HOH, and would appreciate hearing any thoughts you may have on choosing the correct filing status. This is her situation:

The only person in the home, besides her, is an adult son who was certified as fully disabled a few years ago because of a brain injury. It is not likely he'll ever be able live alone, and will probably maintain his certification as fully disabled for the rest of his life. He applied for, and has received, Social Security Disability benefits.

In late 2009, or early 2010, the son got a job and went off Social Security Disability. He earned about $20,000+ in 2010, which is considerably more than 50% of his mother's cost in keeping up their home and providing his meals. (By the way, his employer likes him and will keep him on as long as possible, but that could change, and he may have to go back on Disability.)

It is clear the son cannot be claimed as a dependant because of his income, but is his mother allowed to file as Head of Household in that she is providing a home for a disabled relative, her adult son? I have looked over IRS Publication 501 concerning filing status, but it leaves me wondering.

Thank you for reading this, and offering your thoughts.
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