The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Hotline Focus 03/08

Date: 
03/01/2008
Author: 
DTA

Food Stamps: health insurance premium as excess medical expense deduction when premium is paid by spouse and/or is for more than one person; TAFDC: "window immigrant" status for purposes of exception to sponsor deeming requirement.  

Q. My food stamp client who is elderly and disabled is living with her spouse who is employed. The spouse is paying for health insurance through his employer. Can the wife’s portion of the health insurance payment be deducted as an excess medical expense, and if so, how do I determine the amount that is deductible?

A.Yes, medical expense deductions in excess of $35 per month are allowed as a deduction when incurred by an elderly or disabled food stamp client, per 106 CMR 361.210.

In determining how much of the insurance payment to deduct, use the amount that would be equivalent to one individual’s full monthly health insurance premium. In other words, rather than deducting the insurance company’s increment for one additional person, deduct the full amount that the health insurance company charges for a single insured individual.

For more information on excess medical deductions, refer to106 CMR 364.400(C).

Q. I have a food stamp client who is a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR).  She was granted her status on May 27, 1998 and is considered a “window immigrant” for food stamp purposes. The client lives with her niece who was also granted LPR status on the same day.  This means that both individuals are not subject to the food stamp sponsor deeming regulations. Now that this client has lost her job, she is applying for TAFDC for herself and her niece. Can I apply the “window immigrant” policy to the TAFDC Program as well?

A.Yes.  Any TAFDC client whose LPR status was granted between December 19,1997 and May 31, 1998 may also be considered a “window immigrant” for TAFDC purposes.Most of these individuals received their LPR status using the non-binding I-134 Affidavit of Support. LPRs who were sponsored by family members or other individuals and who have an LPR status granted date before June 1, 1998 are not subject to TAFDC sponsor deeming regulations. Any non citizen adult or child who falls into this category must not be asked for affidavit of support documents.

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