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More Food Stamps for Families with Child Care Expenses

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed July 2018

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;
(54.5 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.


A mother has two children. She earns $1800/month and pays $600 rent plus heat. She will get $254 in SNAP. If she spends $300/month for childcare and travel to and from childcare, her SNAP will go up to $344/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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