Writing by Neroli
Art by Robin Mead
I am going to address this to everyone who is disabled and is not getting enough food stamps to feed the themselves or their family:
Please make sure you are writing off every single medical expense. Stuff you don’t even think relates to your disability might count:
🌸 Buying Advil at Walmart counts.
🌸 Mileage counts for medical and health appointments. Use a calendar to log trips. They will calculate.
🌸 Alternative therapies count.
🌸 Supplements and Over the Counter medications recommended by a doctor
🌸 Medical Equipment counts
🌸 Braces and masks and supplies of any kind count
🌸 Copays and premiums count
🌸 Mobility aid accessories and equipment count
🌸 Electricity for your medical devices may possibly count.
🌸 Personal care attendant and other medical caregiver costs count.
🌸 Special kinds of shoes if they are medically needed.
🌸 CPAP supplies.
🌸 Hospital parking and tolls.
🌸 Therapeutic camps for disabled children, plus costs and mileage to camps.
🌸 Social/community recreation events run by disability agencies.
This list is my personal understanding, based on my own experience and what I have read in my state. Other states may be different.
This Is Really Important
It has to be for a medical condition, even if it is not related to your disability.
You cannot write off things that are meant to optimize your health and wellness, only things that are treatments for a medical condition.
For example: you could write off an herbal supplement if it is for a headache or anxiety. You could not write it off it is is meant to just feel great.
How Do You Deduct Medical Expenses?
The key to declaring medical expense deductions for SNAP is you need to have official disability status from Social Security, Veterans Administration, or disability retirement from another government agency. (Rules are different for HUD and other agencies).
Different states may be different in their requirements, but there are universal rules on a federal level. Learn more about the federal rules: SNAP Medical & Health Expenses Rules
It helps if you can find the policy for your state about what is allowed, and then realize they cannot put down everything or predict everything. There may be some expenses you have outside the examples on the list that will still count.
Medical mileage alone can add up REALLY surprisingly if you have a car or pay for gas to appointments. They use the IRS business mileage rate, not the schedule A medical deduction rate so it is currently 57.5 cents a mile. Plus tolls and parking.
It really does add up and these costs take a lot of most disabled peoples’ income.
Do You Need a Prescription for Everything?
In my state, you do not need prescriptions for everything. Self declaration plus receipts are fine, but items must be for a specific medical condition, not for “general wellness.”
I wrote notes explaining what each thing was for. If a doctor told me to take it, I wrote the name of the doctor and their phone number so they could verify it. They never did. But it is good to be thorough.
You should use your judgment. I personally think it’s a good idea to only include things that you would be able to back up with a doctor’s recommendation, if you had to. You can include unconventional expenses. I included weird things, but only things my doctors know about and approve of. Or services from people who are providing some kind of medical or healthcare service.
Working With SNAP Office
If your SNAP worker is refusing something you think is a medical expense, appeal. SNAP workers are often ridiculously misinformed about what constitutes medical expenses.
I am VERY blessed to live in an area that is very alternative medicine/care friendly and aware. Where I live now our SNAP office never has a wait, it is a lovely office run by lovely compassionate people.
My experience at the SNAP office in a large city where I used to live was horrifically dehumanizing. I told them at the time my daughter and I were starving and living on halloween candy, which was actually true, and they told me I didn’t qualify, and then sent me a referral to a food pantry we had to walk a half hour to, and then when we got there it had closed. Also, the SNAP workers were so rude and degrading. They had huge caseloads and lines were so long.
The low population count, caring staff and low caseloads at social service agencies in my rural county is one of the reasons I really don’t want to ever leave the area.
I Remembered Some More Things!
🌸 Homeopathic remedies (not everyone agrees with homeopathy… just saying if you do use them, they might be accepted)
🌸 Guided meditation CD’s for anxiety and insomnia
🌸 Electrolyte mixes if someone has POTS (not drinks as they are “food”)
🌸 Incontinence pads and products
🌸 Therapeutic art classes or other therapeutic classes run by a social services agency
🌸 Dental work not covered by insurance
🌸 Wheelchair accessories (bags, cup holders, cane holders, power assist, etc if they are functional vs decorative)
🌸 Canes and mobility aids
🌸 Service animal costs (food, vet bills, etc)
🌸 Doctor/clinic visits, dental care, physical therapy, hospitalization, and prescription drugs
🌸 Faxes and copying of medical records, and fees to transfer medical records from one office to another
🌸 Butt cushions (for car or other seating) or therapeutic mattress padding if it is for a medical issue and not “General wellness”
🌸 You can include a fidget or chewelry if you are autistic or have sensory processing issues, or if your children do.
Gosh I could go on.