PM 11-01-01-a: Food

WAG 11-01-01-a.

The personal allowance includes a monthly allowance for food. In addition to the food allowance, a client may qualify for a therapeutic diet allowance. Allow a therapeutic diet allowance when:

  • the diet is prescribed by a physician, and
  • the regular food allowance is insufficient to purchase the prescribed diet.

See WAG 11-01-01-a for the list of approved therapeutic diet allowances.

Dietary supplements prescribed by a physician are covered under the MediPlan program as a medical supply item. Prior approval is required (see PM 20-18-02).

If the client eats their meals in a restaurant, is a boarder, or has home delivered meals, use one of the following allowances instead of the food allowance.

Restaurant Meals

Use an allowance for restaurant meals when a client:

  • has no facilities for preparing food, or
  • is unable to cook (even if the client has cooking facilities) and has no one who will prepare meals.

NOTE: Consider a person unable to cook if the person is physically or emotionally unable to perform the task of cooking.

The maximum monthly allowance for 3 meals a day 7 days per week in a restaurant is $102.63.

When some meals are prepared at home and others are eaten in restaurants, adjust the total food cost using the following percentage basis:

Breakfast: 20% Lunch: 30% Dinner: 50%


A boarder is a person who pays an amount for both lodging and meals.

If the client is a boarder, provide an allowance for board at the amount the client is charged, not to exceed the maximum monthly allowance listed below:

  • The maximum monthly allowance for Cook, DuPage, Kane, and Lake Counties is $134.98.
  • The maximum is $127.43 for all other counties.

When budgeting an allowance for board, do not include food in the personal allowance. Do not include a rent allowance.

Home Delivered Meals

For clients confined to their home because of illness or disability, provide an allowance for home delivered meals not to exceed the maximum allowable amounts (see WAG 11-01-01-a). Provide a separate allowance for any meals not provided by home delivery service.