Food Stamps

1115.035.10 Dependent Care

IM-62 March 26, 2019IM-62 May 31, 2017IM-#66 September 28, 2008 IM#33 April 15, 2005, IM-#111 October 22, 2004

Dependent care includes the actual amount incurred or billed for the care of a child under the age of 18 or another dependent of any age who is incapacitated, as well as the costs for transportation to and from the facility. Effective October 1, 2008, there is no maximum per dependent.

NOTE:  Effective October 1, 2008, there is no maximum per dependent.

Enter the monthly miles or incurred/billed cost for transporting a dependent to and from the facility on the Dependent Care Expense (FMXM) screen. FAMIS uses the incurred/billed cost or the current rate of mileage reimbursement for FSD employees when calculating dependent care transportation costs. Verification of dependent care expenses is not required unless the information is questionable.

Dependent care expenses can only be deducted if the care is provided by someone outside of the EU. The dependent care cost is an allowable Food Stamp expense when necessary to enable an EU member to:

  • seek employment,
  • accept employment,
  • continue employment,
  • attend training,
  • pursue education preparatory to employment, or
  • participate in METP or case management activities.

EXAMPLE:  College attendance is an example of education preparatory for employment; therefore, dependent care expense is an allowable deduction while an EU member is attending college.

Client’s Statement (CS) is acceptable verification for dependent care expense unless the situation is questionable or inconsistent with other information.

When the EU incurs or is billed for dependent care cost it is an allowable Food Stamp expense. 

  • If the total dependent care cost is paid directly to the provider by an agency such as FSD, the EU is not entitled to a dependent care deduction.
  • If an agency pays for or reimburses the EU for partial dependent care cost, the EU is entitled to a dependent care deduction. Include the portion of the dependent care cost that the EU is billed or incurs minus the reimbursement amount.

NOTE: If a live-in attendant (who are not included in the EU to receive FS together) provides these services, only direct payments to the attendant are allowable, not the cost of in-kind benefits, such as meals and lodging.

When budgeting the sliding scale fee:

  • Include the sliding scale fee expense when the child is authorized to a dependent care provider. The sliding scale fee expense does not need to be reported by the Eligibility Unit (EU) before allowing the expense.

EXAMPLE:  Mrs. C applied and was approved for Child Care (CC) assistance.  Mrs. C has a sliding scale fee of $2 per day that she is responsible for paying to the dependent care provider.  Mrs. C’s child is authorized to Little Tots Day Care.  However, she is not certain what the provider will charge her for the dependent care cost that goes above her sliding scale fee.  For now, only include her $2 sliding scale fee.

  • Do not include a sliding scale fee expense if the EU does not incur or is not billed for the sliding scale. Include dependent care cost incurred or billed by the provider.

EXAMPLE:  Ms. J was approved for CC.  She does not have a sliding scale fee but reports she has to pay the provider $10 per day.  The dependent care cost paid to the provider by the EU is included in the budget. 

If later, the EU is no longer responsible to pay a sliding scale fee, either because of a budget adjustment or because the CC case closed, end the sliding scale fee since it is known to agency.  Have a conversation with the EU to explore the possibility for new or changed dependent care expenses.

Review and include mileage or transportation expense for travel to and from the dependent care provider only.   Mileage and transportation expenses only include the times that the dependent is being transported to and from the provider facility.    

  • If the parent/gurardian works at the dependent care provider facility and the child attends the same facility, all mileage or transportation can be included as an expense.
  • If the dependent care provider facility is based at the parent/guardian’s work, place of training or school, all mileage or transportation can be included as an expense.

NOTE:  The mileage or transportation cost can only be included one time when all children attend the same facility. 

Enter the dependent care expense separately for each dependent.   Transportation or mileage expense is entered on a separate line from the dependent care expense. The expenses that are entered are deducted from the EU’s income.