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Your Medical Expenses Could Help You Qualify for Larger SNAP Benefits

Medical bills can make it harder for older adults to afford the essentials.

spinner image AARP Foundation - SNAP Medical Deduction

People over 60 or individuals with disabilities who qualify for SNAP may be able to get a larger monthly benefit. How? By deducting out-of-pocket medical expenses that are more than $35.

Reporting these expenses in the SNAP application process can mean even more benefits to help pay for food each month.

Review the SNAP Medical Deduction Expense Fact Sheet for more information and learn how to determine your monthly medical costs. 

Here are some examples of the medical expenses you can deduct:

  • Health insurance premiums, including Medicare
  • Medical supplies and equipment such as eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aids, and prosthetics
  • Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication
  • Unreimbursed portion of hospitalization, outpatient treatment, community based treatment, or nursing home care
  • Unpaid medical bills
  • Reasonable cost of transportation and lodging for treatment
  • Cost for a personal care attendant, home health aide, certified nursing aide, visiting nurse, or other attendant or housekeeper who is necessary due to age or illness
  • Spend-down expenses incurred by Medicaid recipients
  • Cost of securing and maintaining a seeing eye, hearing, or service dog

Use this worksheet to determine your monthly medical costs. Some medical expenses, like the cost of prescriptions, may already be calculated as a monthly expense. Insert the monthly cost onto the worksheet. Larger lump sum medical bills should be divided by the number of months a household is certified to receive SNAP to calculate the monthly cost. The certification period varies by state; contact your local SNAP off­ice to learn more. 

Download the SNAP Medical Expense Deduction Worksheet

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