If you’re a dependent in a household, you were not eligible for the stimulus check recently issued by the federal government. In fact, your parents would receive more money for claiming you as a dependent instead.
Reddit user Bobcatjelly found herself shortchanged of the opportunity to get a check by her parents. She was understandably upset, but now she faces backlash from her parents for bringing up the subject.
Unclear if she’d done something wrong, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for feedback.
“AITA for being upset about the stimulus check?”
Our original poster, or OP, is struggling for money.
“I (17F[emale]) have been claimed as a dependent on my parents taxes , they are no longer claiming my brother (18 M) so he can get the stimulus checks.”
“We both depend on our parents very much and they pay for his car, his gas, his fast food and everything he wants.”
“I pay for my own gas, my own hobbies, my animals vet bills, mine and my animals food and I cook for myself.”
“Me and my brother are only a few months apart and I feel like we are very much equals and I am very jealous about that fact that I don’t qualify for a stimulus check at all.”
To make matters worse, OP has been working, unpaid, for her parents.
“I’m trying to save to move out and I keep not being able to due so due to the fact my parents don’t pay me for the work I do, I do all their accounting for their business and I haven’t seen a check since mid last year, I work mon-fri from 8-4.”
“My brother goes with our dad 2 days out of the week and gets paid 500 every other week.”
“They say I’m ungrateful and being mean to my brother, but he agrees with me and has started sending me money.”
“I just want to know, am I the a**hole about this? It has started so many arguments since I feel I deserve some portion of the money they get back for me a dependent.”
“And I also think it’s wrong they claimed me and not him when we are both dependents.”
These conversations have started to escalate.
“Typically the conversations end with lots of screaming and my parents calling me an ungrateful b*tch, they also tell me that I am getting paid for my work by the roof over my head. And that I don’t deserve a stimulus check at all.”
“I don’t bring up the stimulus checks but they brag and get mad when I’m not happy for them. My parents aren’t broke. They are constantly buying things. Today they bought a new grill, we already have 5.”
“Also to note, I can’t work a normal job since I am also basically a live in nurse for my grandmother, I quit my actual job to take care of her.”
OP feels trapped by her parents.
“I’m really struggling affording my cats food and I’m spending my savings, I am mostly relying on my brother and its overall a very stressful situation.”
“So reddit, Am I The A**hole?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors agreed with OP’s assessment of the situation.
“NTA. When I first started reading I was going to say that you are, self-admittedly a dependent, and your parents have a right to claim you.”
“The bigger issue here is the fact that you are 17 years old…a teenager…working full time hours..and not being compensated. What about school? Did you already graduate?”
“If you are working for a business, even one owned by your parents, you should be getting paid for it. And your parents calling you a b*tch (in any context) is wrong on so many levels.”
“Having to also act as a nurse to your grandmother on top of all of that is so much more than you should bear at your age.”
“Best of luck to you, and I’m sorry you have to endure all of that. It sounds like you are an incredibly responsible and hard working you lady.”~CardinalCrim
“UH OP, You have been Cinderella’d by your parents. Your bro knows it’s BS, hence him supporting you. Your Grandmother IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, IT IS YOUR PARENTS!”
“They have free labour in everything they do and are abusing you. Try to save as much as you can and when you can, LEAVE!”
“They don’t wanna pay you for doing an accountants work. Don’t do it. They don’t wanna pay you for being a nurse. Don’t. They not paying you for anything. NTA AND GET OUT WHEN YOU CAN.”~Merlin_KilgarrahS565
“NTA. I’d say: ‘you’re getting PAID for taking care of grandma, but have you actually taken care of her?'”
“She’s your own mother— how could you not take care of the woman who raised you? You’re getting paid to watch ME take care of her, while i’m left uncompensated.”
“I could get an actual job instead of taking care of grandma… ya know, where they’d actually PAY me for my hard-work.'”
“Then threaten to stay at a friend’s house since they won’t pay you for your labor. But seriously, IS there a friend you can stay with? Is there family who’d be willing to take you in?”
“You’re old enough to emancipate yourself, so your parents essentially couldn’t do jack-shit if you moved our.”
“Maybe even keep texts/receipts of when you worked for your family, how much they owe you &/or them saying they’d pay you. Maybe you could take them to small claims court once you turn 18? NAL.”~ssnowangelz
“Filing taxes on your own instead of being claimed as a dependant is how they get to you instead of your parents.”
“Until then, legally, it’s theirs no matter how much you’re paying or they’re paying or your brother is paying. NTA for your feelings though.”~ang_hell_ic
In fact, the fact that she’s not being paid at all for her job is also a big problem:
“NTA, its nice that you care for your grandma, but they’re exploiting you for free labour.”
“If they don’t want to pay you just get another job and they can pay a professional, even just a couple days a week.”~RenaxTM
“NTA for your feelings, but that’s not how tax law works.”
“If your parents provide more than half of your monthly expenses and/or you live with them 6 months or more out the year, you’re their dependent.”
“The situation at home seems really sh*tty, but you need to be living on your own and receiving minimal support to file as single.”~tiredAF2345
“NTA unfortunately you are only 17 and still a minor so your parents can claim you, however working everyday 8-4 may actually be illegal since you are a minor and in the US there are limits to how many hours a minor can work in a week.”
“Also if you have proof of your hours and unpaid labor you could report your parents to the Department of labor (again in the US) and they would be on the hook for far more than the 1400 they are going to get from the stimulus.”
“Personally I would tell your parents either pay you for your work or you will find a job that actually pays you.”~Meedusa13
“NTA. I want to say you’re an AH but I can also see why not. No the stimulus check does not go to you because your parents claimed you.”
“But I do think your parents should be paying you if you’re working at their business. You need to either stop working for them or tell them that day need to pay for you because they could get in a lot of trouble for not paying you if your working a full time job for them.”
“It’s time for you to put your foot down and demand that they pay you back pay and for any future hours.”
“Or you’ll have to report them to a labor dept or whoever handles that. If they refuse then you need to get a regular job.”
“You’re going to have to be tough and stand your ground and tell them either pay me for all the work I have done up until now, or I report you.”
“Otherwise I’m getting a job and moving out, and you have to take care of grandma. You can’t do anything about the stimulus as it’s legally theirs. But you can get a job and move out.”
“Make them pay you, or report them or just go get a job.”~Sahmomof2
And to some this speaks of OP’s need to get out of her house as soon as possible:
“NTA, and if you are doing accounting work and not getting a paycheck, they are violating piles of labor laws.”
“The stimulus check is not the problem – they do not owe it to you because you are a dependent – but they owe you a ton of back pay.”~cmlobue
“Totally NTA. You don’t have to start another discussion about it, there’s nothing to discuss – make it clear to them that you have a personal policy of doing exactly what you are paid for: which is in this case nothing.”
“The roof over your head is the bare minimum of a parent. Does your country allow you to receive benefits as a caretaker?”~scrubsiracha
“NTA but I don’t know how you intend to move out when you work for your parents for nothing and gave up your job to be your grandma’s free nurse.”
“OP, it might sound cold, but you need to quit working for your parents, let them get proper care for grandma, and get a job. And don’t worry, given what your parents call you, you owe them nothing.”~SleuthingSloth009
“NTA. I assume you’ve graduated school? If so, you are no longer a dependent kid helping out with the family business, this is now your real, grown up, job- job, and they need to be paying you.”
“Your age may make it difficult to find alternative full time work, but even being paid part time would be better than getting zero money.”
“Your options are: 1) you do the accounting, so figure out a wage they can pay you, and hold a meeting with them to say you’re now going to be taking it. Make sure to bring tangible evidence of how you have helped and your hours.”
“Head over to Askamanager for advice in how to ask for a raise 2) get a job elsewhere. They will likely try to guilt you into continuing to do your book keeping for free, and take care of your grandma.”
“Do not let them. They are the full adults, they are very capable of working something out. They just don’t want to.”~radleynope
OP hopefully will find someplace safe and a job that pays her for the work she’s actually doing.
Until then, hold tight, OP.