If you have high medical expenses, and low income, this can lower your share of the rent in HUD and Section 8 housing. Who gets to take this deduction?
Before discovering the answer, you need to learn a few definitions:
Tip – HUD uses two different definitions of “disabled.” Below is the definition that is used for medical deductions.
Disabled – If you are on Social Security disability, you are disabled. If you are not on Social Security disability, you may still qualify as disabled if your doctor fills out a form: Am I Disabled For Medical Deductions?
Elderly – Elderly is someone over 62+.
Head Of Household – This is the person listed on your housing paperwork as Head of Household. Tip: It is an adult, but it does not matter who is oldest or what gender a person is. An adult child can be Head of Household.
Co-Head of Household – This is the person listed on your housing paperwork as Co-Head of Household. If you have no Co-Head of Household, you may be able to request that one of your household members become co-head.
Sole Household – If you live alone, you are automatically head of household.
The policies in this area are a bit strange. Here’s how it works
Head of Household is Disabled or Co-Head is Disabled
- Everyone qualifies.
- All household members with disabilities qualify.
- All household members without disabilities qualify.
- Everyone qualifies!
Head of Household is Elderly or Co-Head is Elderly
- Everyone qualifies.
- Young people qualify
- Old people qualify
- Everyone qualifies!
Head and Co-Head are Not Elderly or Disabled
- No one qualifies
- Disabled children don’t qualify
- Elderly family members don’t qualify
- This sucks, but is true. No one qualifies.
Readers’ report that some housing workers are allowing medical expense deductions for families where the head of household is not disabled. For example, only a child is disabled.
Why is this happening? We don’t know! Possibly these workers haven’t read all the rules, or maybe they interpreted them in a different way. Whatever the reason, some readers in this situation have been granted medical expense deductions.
Special Exception if Someone in the House Works
There is one other way to get medical expense deductions. This is a different rule. Instead of “medical expenses.” This is a rule for disability assistance expenses.
Under this rule, it does not matter if the Head of Household or Co-head is elderly or disabled.
Instead, what matters is that someone in the household works. This rule could be especially helpful for working parents with disabled children (parent is not disabled, child is disabled).
If you care for someone who is disabled, and you work, you may qualify for deductions. Learn more: Disability Assistance Expenses Deductions (HUD Housing)
Federal Regulations: Definition of Disabled Family: “Disabled family means a family whose head (including co-head), spouse, or sole member is a person with a disability. It may include two or more persons with disabilities living together, or one or more persons with disabilities living with one or more live-in aides.”
HUD Voucher Guidebook: Definition of Disabled Family: A disabled family, which means a family whose head, co-head, spouse, or sole member, is a person with disabilities; or two or more persons with disabilities living together; or one or more persons with disabilities living with one or more live-in aides.
Federal Regulations: Definition of Elderly Family: “Elderly family means a family whose head (including co-head), spouse, or sole member is a person who is at least 62 years of age. It may include two or more persons who are at least 62 years of age living together, or one or more persons who are at least 62 years of age living with one or more live-in aides.”
HUD Verification Guidance: “If the household is eligible for the medical expense deduction, the medical expenses of all family members may be counted.”
HUD Occupancy Handbook Disability Assistance: “Unreimbursed reasonable attendant care and auxiliary apparatus expenses for each member of the family who is a person with disabilities, to the extent necessary to enable any member of the family (including the member who is a person with disabilities) to be employed. Note: This deduction may not exceed the earned income received by family members who are 18 years of age or older and who are able to work because of such attendant care or auxiliary apparatus.”