Department of Social Services
Family Support Division
PO Box 2320
Jefferson City, Missouri
TO: ALL FAMILY SUPPORT OFFICES
FROM: KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT: ALLOWED MEDICAL EXPENSE FOR SERVICE ANIMALS SNAP PROGRAM
MANUAL REVISION #56
The purpose of this memo is to inform staff of an allowable medical expense for service animals. The expenses, such as veterinarian visits and food associated with service animals, can be allowable expenses for the SNAP Program.
When entering expenses for service animals, staff need to determine the task that the animal has been specifically trained to perform, outside of the animal’s natural instinct. Participants may present documentation from their doctor prescribing service animals, but this is not verification of the special task the animal is trained to do. Request documents that verify training of this task or duty for the service animal.
Mrs. Garrison has a service animal that she has trained herself according to ADA guidelines to pick up dropped items for her child with muscular dystrophy. She has provided the certificate for the monkey’s training to perform this task. Mrs. Garrison provided a receipt for pet food in the amount of $40.00; this is an allowable medical expense.
Ms. Flora has a prescription from her doctor that states: “This patient needs a cat as a pet for mental health therapy.” The issue is not whether the animal’s presence is therapeutic; the issue is whether or not the animal has received special training to perform a specific task to aid in the service of Ms. Flora’s mental health. The cat’s expenses are not allowable since there is no training or specialized skill the cat performs.
- Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.