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More SNAP/Food Stamps for Families with Child Care or Adult Care Expenses

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed October 2020

For all low-income families

  • If you pay for the care of any child under 18 or a disabled adult of any age, your family can get more SNAP benefits! SNAP used to be called Food Stamps.
  • Every $3 you spend on childcare may increase your SNAP benefits by $1 – up to the maximum SNAP amount for your household.
  • You can claim anything you spend on dependent care when: 
    • You are working, or looking for a job; 
    • You are attending school or work-related training;
    • You are doing volunteer work or another activity that the SNAP Employment/Training (E&T) Program requires.

What can I claim as expenses?

Child care or Adult care
All child or adult care expenses that you are responsible for paying. This includes co-payments;
Out-of-school activities for any child under 18
Any supervised activity, including before and after school, school vacation, summer camps, YMCA, and Boys/Girls Club fees;
Mileage
(57.5 cents/mile)
If you drive your child to or from child care, camp or a school program.
Public Transportation Costs
If you or your child takes a bus, subway or train to or from child care, camp or a school program.

Is there a limit or cap on the expenses I can claim?

No. You can claim the full amount of costs you pay.

Example:

Jane and her husband have two children, aged 5 and 8. Jane works 40 hours a week and her husband is in a full time training program. They need after school child care. Jane earns $440/week. Jane’s SNAP is $394/month. She sends DTA a letter explaining they pay $150 per week for after school care (including transportation). Jane’s SNAP increases to $589 per month!

How do I claim child care or adult care expenses?

You can "self-attest" to these expenses unless DTA finds the information questionable. Write the expenses down on your application or recertification form, or give your DTA worker a signed, sworn statement. See MLRI's Dependent Care Deduction Know Your Rights flier. DTA should ask for proofs only if the information you provide is questionable.  

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