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What proofs do I need to claim living expenses?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed January 2018

DTA needs certain information about your expenses to calculate the amount of your benefits.  Some of this information can be self-declared. These are considered optional verifications. If you do not provide information or required proofs for the expenses, DTA cannot deny your benefits – but the SNAP amount will be calculated without these deductions. 106 C.M.R. § 364.450(B).

■    Shelter costs – can be self-declared. Be sure to write down the amount of your shelter costs on the paper SNAP application or a separate piece of paper you signed and dated. 106 C.M.R. §§ 361.610(K).  If not written down when you apply, see sample declaration in Appendix C.

If your shelter costs appear questionable, DTA may ask for a rent receipt, canceled check, money order, copy of a lease, proof of home ownership or a statement from your landlord or tenant you share expenses with.  See What is the shelter deduction? on how DTA calculates shelter costs. If you have rental income from your property, see How is rental income treated?.

■    Child care or adult dependent care costs – can be self-declared. You do not need to verify child care costs. Be sure to tell DTA what you pay on the SNAP application or on a separate piece of paper. A sample declaration form is in Appendix C.

Dependent care includes what you pay for day care, after-school programs, summer programs as well as transportation to and from the child care location. You can also claim the costs of care needed for an elderly or disabled household member. 106 C.M.R. § 361.610 (K). See What is the child care/dependent care deduction? for more about dependent care costs.

If your dependent care costs appear questionable, DTA may ask for proof such as a statement from your caregiver, canceled checks or other documents showing what you pay.

■    Medical expenses – proofs required. If you are disabled or an elder (age 60 or older), you can claim unreimbursed medical expenses. 106 C.M.R. § 361.610(D).  See What medical expenses can I claim if I am elderly or disabled? for a detailed list of medical expenses and acceptable proofs, and Appendix C for a MLRI flier and sample screening forms.

■    Child support paid to children outside the household – proofs required.  You will need to show two things: proof that you have a legal obligation to pay support, and the amount that you pay. 106 C.M.R. §§ 361.610(J), 364.400(E).  See What is the child support deduction?.

DTA Policy Guidance:

DTA Online Guide: SNAP > Expenses and Deductions > Introduction > Expenses/Deductions Introduction

Show DTA Policy Guidance

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