SNAP and the Dependent Care (Child Care) Deduction (overview and attachments)
- Households can self-attest their child care/ adult dependent care expenses: SNAP policy allows households to self declare the costs of child care or adult dependent care - unless the information provided by the household appears questionable. This can be done on the SNAP application form or a separate signed and dated statement. USDA permits self-declaration and DTA implemented this option through Field Operations Memo 2007-19.
- Types of dependent care allowed: Field Operations Memo 2007-19 also provides some useful guidance about the scope of allowable dependent care expenses, including summer camp fees, before and after school programs, and transportation to and from the program sites either by public transportation or the caregiver (Transportation by car is deductible at the federal mileage rate). Households with fully subsidized child care may still claim the deduction for transporation expenses.
- Care for both children and adults allowed: The dependent care deduction is not limited to preschool children. Households can deduct the costs of supervision for older children (e.g. an afterschool program at the YMCA) or the care needed for an elderly or severely disabled family member - as long as the care is needed in order for the household member to go to work or do an education or training program.
- No cap on dependent care expenses: Households with child care or adult care expenses can claim 100% of their dependent care costs. However, DTA will ask for verification if the information appears questionable.
- Additional materials:
- MLRI flier explaining the dependent care deduction, along with Self-Attestation form for child care expenses
- Federal Mileage Rate-- federal mileage rate is 54 cents per mile as of January 2016.
- Field Operations Memo 2007-19
- April 2009 chart showing the impact of the child care deduction on FS/SNAP benefits
- Chart showing the growth in households claiming the dependent care deduction, including data until January 2009