PM 13-01-06: Dependent Care Deduction

WAG 13-01-06.

  • Dependent care costs may be allowed as a deduction when the care is necessary for a child under age 18 or an incapacitated person of any age.
    • Incapacitation is any permanent or temporary condition that prevents an individual from participating fully in normal activities without supervision (including but not limited to work or school); and
    • Requires the care of another person to ensure the health and safety of the individual, or a condition or situation that makes a lack of supervision risky to the health and safety of that individual.
      • Note: Do not refer to the Client Assessment Unit (CAU).

When to Allow Dependent Care Costs

  • Allow dependent care payments when the care is needed to allow a SNAP household member to:
    • revised manual textsearch for, accept or continue employment, or
    • comply with employment and training requirements, or
    • attend training or pursue education to prepare for employment.
      • revised manual textNote: Payments made for dependent care may be allowed when necessary for a household member to search for work regardless of whether the individual is participating in an employment and training program.
  • Accept the customer's statement of the amount paid for dependent care. Allow the expense even if another adult lives in the home.

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What to Allow as a Deduction 

  • Allowable dependent care costs are:
    • the costs of care given by an individual care provider or care facility;
    • transportation costs (PM 13-01-05-a) to and from the care facility (verification is not required);
    • an activity or other fees associated with the care provided to the dependent that are necessary for the household to participate in the care. The fees do not have to be mandatory to be allowed. The customer must be specific in identifying the fee, but does not need to verify. Examples of activity fees that may be allowed as dependent care costs include the cost of an art class for an after school program or an adult day care program, additional equipment fees charged for attending a sports camp, or the cost of field trips sponsored by summer camps. Like all dependent care costs, activity fees are allowable if they are necessary for a household member to search for employment, or to accept or continue employment, training or education in preparation for a job. There is no limit on the amount.
  • To be allowed as a deduction, the service must be provided by someone outside of the SNAP household and the household must make a cash payment for the service. The costs of care provided by a relative may be deducted so long as the relative providing care is not part of the same SNAP household as the individual receiving the care.
  • Do not allow the amount of a dependent care payment that is reimbursed or paid by vendor payment. If educational income, which is exempt from consideration as income, includes an allowance for dependent care expenses, do not allow the dependent care deduction. The amount of the dependent care deduction is determined by the actual payments for care. Subtract actual dependent care costs. The result is referred to as adjusted net income.

Attendant Care Costs

  • If the SNAP household incurs attendant care costs for an incapacitated person of any age that could qualify as either a medical care deduction or as a dependent care deduction, allow the SNAP household the option to choose how the costs will be deducted. The SNAP household may choose to deduct the entire dependent care expense as a dependent care deduction or to deduct as a medical expense deduction, but not both. See PM 13-01-05-a. Discuss with the customer and determine the option that would be the most beneficial for them (see WAG 13-01-06).
  • Verify the expense if allowing as a medical expense.
  • A live-in attendant cannot be included in the same SNAP household that it provides services to but may apply for their own separate SNAP benefits.