My brother-in-law is currently 20 years old and lives with his foster parents. He still resides with them as a legal dependent after they went to court and had him remanded to their custody until he turns 21 in June of next year. Ever since he turned 18, his foster mother has been charging ever increasing amounts of rent in accordance with how much he gets from his SSI benefits. It is my understanding that a parent may not charge a legal dependent rent for any reason. However, they are allowed to allocate a percentage of his SSI benefits to the household utilities. They own the house outright, so there is no rent and only property taxes. Luxury amenities, such as internet and satellite, are not required to live and therefore are exempt from being covered. She is also required to file a separate form with her taxes to identify her as a landlord of the house in which he resides. She has never done this and instead claims him as a dependent on her income taxes.(double dipping?) She takes the funds from his account without even consulting him or confirming that she has the authorization to do so. She also allocates how much money he gets from his part time job and pulls from that account as well.
So, our questions are these:
Can she legally take rent from him without his consent or approval without the need to actually do so?
Can she legally dip into his earning from work without his approval?
Is she allowed to claim him on her taxes even though she charges him rent?
Depending on the legality of he actions, where would we go to get the ball rolling on stopping her and getting him reimbursed?
Please keep in mind that all of these speculations on my part are exactly that and come from a very short and hurried period of research in the last two days. So some, if not most, of my information may be wrong or misconstrued in some way, shape or form.
Also keep in mind that this is not the first time that she has taken advantage of children with similar situations and conditions and that she will continue to do so if given the chance. We'd like to put a stop to her misusing children in this way and prevent any children from suffering the physical abuse that my brother-in-law has suffered in the past as well. That's right! She's got a really nasty temper to her and I have watched, intervened and reported the physical abuse she delivers to the police and they have done nothing about it because she claims that he made it up or that he started it. Regardless of my testimony to them, they will not take him out of there or do anything to her.
We thank anyone who is able to give us some clarification in this matter.