Maximize Your SNAP Benefits with One of These Three Tips

(DailyVibe.com) – If you qualify for SNAP benefits, you understand how critical they are when it comes to feeding your family. Food assistance is likely central to your ability to keep the cupboards stocked, and ensure the food that your family can acquire is nutritious. However, you may not be getting the maximum amount of assistance you deserve. If you aren’t deducting everything you can when you file for SNAP benefits, you’re missing out. Are you afraid you might have missed one or more of these three common deductions? Read on — maybe you can get more SNAP benefits than you are currently receiving due to those missed deductions.

Child Support Deductions

Does anyone in your household find themselves legally obligated to pay for child support? If so, you may be able to claim child support as a deduction on your SNAP benefits. In this case, the full amount of the child support should go on the application as a deduction. While those funds would normally go towards your food, they are now going to support a child presumably outside of the home. While it’s great to comply with the law and to support that child, you still need to eat in your household.

Only about 2 percent of SNAP beneficiaries claim this type of deduction.

Medical Expense Deductions

Did you know that some people are qualified to get medical expense deductions on their SNAP application? If your family has extensive medical expenses every year, you might qualify. To do so, you should have an individual 60 years or older in your household, and/or a disabled individual. These deductions usually go to those who are receiving disability benefits, blindness payments, Social Security Disability, SSI, or veterans’ benefits.

Those medical costs must also exceed $35 monthly, as you can only claim medical expenses above $35. Additionally, the expenses may need to be related specifically to a disability.

Medical expense deductions may include medications, health insurance premiums, transportation from and to medical appointments, the costs of procedures, and more. Service animal expenses, incontinence supplies, durable medical equipment, and disability-related communication and accessibility devices may also be counted.

Excess Shelter Deduction

Everyone includes a shelter deduction on their SNAP applications — this translates to how much you pay for mortgage or rent. However, excess shelter deductions also apply. This means other costs that relate to home ownership and renting, like insurance property taxes, and more. You may be able to include home repair costs if your insurance doesn’t fully reimburse them, and some utilities can also apply,

Some states provide a Standard Utility Allowance deduction instead, meaning you get a set amount towards your deduction instead of your actual utility bill, but if your energy costs are excessive, you may be able to get more of a deduction by providing your actual utility bills.

Despite these deductions, most states do have a set maximum that you can receive when it comes to food stamps. If you’re strategic about your deductions, however, the amount you get for SNAP can increase exponentially. When you consider benefits and fill out your application, make sure you count every family member and their needs and situation, especially these¬†three, as people often miss them when they are filling out their initial SNAP application.

If you suspect you’ve made a mistake on your most recent SNAP application or update by not including one of these three deductions, or if your situation has dramatically changed, reach out to your caseworker immediately for advice on whether you can amend your application due to an emergency circumstance.

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