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FYI: Verifying Medical Deductions in SNAP

Date: 
01/01/2010
Author: 
DTA

Many elderly and/or disabled SNAP clients have difficulty obtaining verification of medical expenses, for a variety of reasons. Additionally, due to privacy issues, it may be impossible for a case manager or authorized representative to assist a client in obtaining medical expense verifications.

Case managers must remember to request only sufficient verification to allow the medical expense, and must be careful not to burden the client or violate the client’s privacy by requesting unnecessary verifications. For example, if a client submits receipts for prescriptions purchased in a given month, it is not necessary that the client also submit a printout from the pharmacy showing all of the client’s prescriptions for the past year. If there is a question as to whether the prescription amounts are for a particular month or for a longer period of time, the case manager can request a statement from the client to determine the correct amount of the medical deduction.

Case managers are also reminded that a self-declaration related to a medical expense may be an acceptable alternative to physical documentation. For example, if a client presents receipts for over-the-counter items purchased such as antacids, pain relievers, or adult diapers, it is not required that the client also obtain a letter from a medical practitioner stating that the eligible over-the-counter items have been prescribed or recommended. A self-declaration from the client that these items are purchased monthly as recommended by the medical practitioner is sufficient, unless the client’s statement is questionable.

SNAP policy related to questionable information can be found at 106 CMR 361.620. Additional information about the medical expense deduction can be found at 106 CMR 364.400(C), 364.450(A), 366.320(C)(3), and the “SNAP Medical Deductions Job Aid” available in Policy Online.

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