FAA5.I Determining Benefits : 03 Expenses : E NA Medical Expenses and Deduction
NA Medical Expenses and Deduction
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program
The NA medical expenses are an allowable deduction for participants who are elderly or have a disability.
Medical expenses are allowable as a deduction for NA budgetary units with participants who are elderly or have a disability. (For additional information regarding who are considered elderly or a participant with a disability, see Budgetary Units with Special Circumstances.) The medical expense must belong to and be billed to the participant who is elderly or have a disability.
A $35 disregard is applied to the budgetary unit’s combined medical expenses, regardless of the number of elderly or participants with a disability that are included in the case. When eligible, the budgetary unit receives one of the following medical expense deductions:
The Standard Medical Deduction (SMD). The SMD net amount is $145 ($180 minus the $35 disregard equals $145).
The actual amount, minus a $35 disregard when expenses are more than the $145 SMD amount.
Any of the following NA participants are eligible for a medical expense deduction when the budgetary unit’s combined out-of-pocket medical expense is greater than $35:
Elderly participants or participants with a disability. (See Elderly or Have a Disability - NA Special Considerations for specific requirements)
Deceased participants when all of the following requirements are met:
The deceased participant would have been eligible for the deduction in the month the expense was billed.
The remaining budgetary unit participants are legally responsible for the bill.
Participants who are eligible for and receiving SSI. When the participant begins receiving SSI, allow excess medical expenses incurred from the later of the following:
The date of the NA application.
The date when SSI eligibility began.
FAA verifies the out-of-pocket medical expenses before allowing one of the following deductions:
At least $35.01 when using the SMD.
All expenses when the expenses exceed $180 per month
The higher medical expense deduction is allowed for the benefit of the budgetary unit.
Allowable and Not Allowable Medical Expenses
See any of the following for additional information on allowable medical expenses:
Any of the following medical expenses are not allowable:
Charge accounts used for both medical expenses and other miscellaneous expenses
NOTE When a portion of the bill that is for medical expenses can be determined, only that portion is allowed. Medical expenses paid in monthly installments are considered billed when the statement is received. When no due date is indicated for a medical expense, the bill is considered due in the month following the billing date.
Charge account interest when medical expenses are paid in monthly installments
Medical bills that were paid before a new application month
Amounts carried forward from past billing periods and late charges even when included with the most recent billing and actually paid by the participant
Expenses covered by a reimbursement or vendor payment
Expenses covered by a second mortgage
Service Animals
The costs to secure and maintain professionally trained service animals that assist elderly participants or participants with a disability in performing normal living activities are allowable as NA medical expenses.
Service animals, including any of the following:
Seeing-eye animals
Hearing-ear animals
A service animal is defined as an animal that is trained to do work or perform tasks for elderly participants or participants with a disability. Participant statement verification is required to determine whether the service animal meets all of the following requirements:
The service animal is required because of a medical issue
The animal is specifically trained to perform work or tasks for the participant
It is not a requirement that a physician or medical professional prescribe the need for the animal when the participant is elderly or has a disability in accordance with NA requirements. (See Elderly or Have a Disability - NA Special Considerations for specific requirements)
Allowable maintenance costs include any of the following:
Purchase of animal food
Veterinary services
Kennel fees
NOTE Breeding and whelping fees are not allowable.
Hospital Costs
The costs for hospital stays, nursing home care, or outpatient treatment are allowable expense deductions when authorized by a licensed practitioner or U.S. medically qualified source(g). The total amount shown on the final bill reflects the amount due after all insurance payments have been received. This is considered the allowable amount.
NOTE These expenses are allowed for any participant who was in an NA budgetary unit immediately before entering a hospital or nursing home.
Medical and Dental Care Fees
Medical and dental care fees are allowable including any of the following medical fees:
Rehabilitation services
Acupuncturists, massage therapists, herbalists, and other alternative medicine practitioners licensed and recognized by the State Medical Board and prescribed by a State-licensed practitioner
Medical Assistants
The costs for employing any of the following are allowable medical expenses:
Home health aide
Dependent care service
When the participant provides two or more of the assistant's daily meals, an amount equal to the maximum NA allotment for a one-person budgetary unit is allowable. (See Thrifty Food Plan for the amount.)
When the budgetary unit has assistant care costs that could qualify as either a medical or a dependent care expense, the cost is allowed as a medical expense.
Medical Insurance Premiums
Medical and hospitalization insurance premiums intended to cover medical expenses are allowable. This includes health, dental, and vision insurance. When a group policy does not specify how much of the premium is for each person, the amount is divided among those included in the policy. Only the portion of the insurance premium assigned to the elderly or participant with a disability is budgeted.
Costs for accident and disability insurance benefits are not allowed including any of the following:
Benefits payable in lump sum settlements for death or dismemberment.
Income maintenance policies that cover mortgage or loan payments (including auto loans) while the policyholder or beneficiary who has a disability.
Medical Lodging
The cost of lodging to obtain medical treatment or services such as doctor or dental visits and supplies are allowable.
Up to $40 per day for lodging is allowed when the participant must travel over 50 miles to obtain medical treatments or services. Examples of medical treatments or services include any of the following:
Hearing aids
Sickroom equipment
NOTE The cost of food is not allowed as a deduction.
Medical Supplies
Any of the following medical supply costs are allowable when authorized by a U.S. medically qualified source(g):
Sickroom equipment
Purchase of other medically necessary medical supplies
Cost of or rental fees for prescribed equipment
The initial purchase, replacement, or repair of any of the following:
Eyeglasses or contact lenses, when prescribed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist
Hearing aids
Telephonic aids for the hearing impaired
NOTE This does not include the cost of special diets.
Medical Transportation
The cost of transportation to obtain medical treatment or services such as doctor or dental visits and supplies, are allowable.
Examples of medical treatments or services include any of the following:
Hearing aids
Sickroom equipment
The amount of the transportation cost is determined using one or more of the following:
The mileage standard when private vehicles are used. (See mileage standard for the current amount)
The actual cost of fare when public transportation or common carrier is used.
Medicare Premium Medical Expense
Medicare insurance premiums for participants who are eligible to receive Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits are allowable. The premium is not allowed when paid by the State of Arizona.
Medication and Prescriptions
Any of the following expenses are allowable deductions:
Prescription drugs.
Over-the-counter medication purchases (including insulin) can be allowed as medical deductions when approved by a U.S. medically qualified source(g).
Shipping, handling and postage for mail order or online prescription drugs.
Any of the following purchases are not allowed as a deduction:
Any item that can be purchased with NA benefits. (See Allowable Purchases for a list of items)
Any item that is considered as a special diet.
Documented or collateral contact verification is needed to verify the obligation to pay NA medical expenses when any of the following occur:
A new application is submitted or new changes in out-of-pocket medical expenses is reported during the approval period:
When the budgetary unit is potentially eligible for the Standard Medical Deduction (SMD) verification of $35.01 must be provided.
When the budgetary unit is potentially eligible for medical expenses, which exceed the SMD, all medical expenses must be verified.
Renewal applications:
Changes of more than $25 in actual medical expenses which exceed the SMD must be verified.
NOTE Participant statement verification is allowed as the primary source of verification at the time of the renewal interview, unless it is questionable(g), when one of the following occurs:
The budgetary unit is receiving the SMD.
Changes to medical expenses are less than $25 when the budgetary unit is receiving their actual medical expense in excess of the SMD.
The expense amount is questionable.
When the budgetary unit does not provide verification of the actual medical expenses that exceed the SMD, but provides verification of at least $35.01, the budgetary unit receives the SMD.
Verification that can be used includes the following:
Medical bills
Insurance receipts (latest payment or billing)
Current statement from a medical provider(g) responsible for providing care
Collateral contact with the medical provider or insurance company
Participant statement verification can be used when it is not questionable for one or more of following:
Renewal applications when the SMD was previously applied
A change that is less than $25 is reported on an existing medical expense when medical expenses exceed the SMD
Verification of a Medicare(g) expense that can be used includes the following:
Award or benefit letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA)
State Verification Exchange System (SVES)
Collateral contact with the SSA
Legal Authorities
Prior Policy
last revised 05/13/2024 effective 05/21/2024