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What bills count for food stamps?

What bills count for food stamps?

Have you ever wondered what bills count for food stamps? When you complete your first application for food stamps, you are asked a lot of questions about your income and expenses… but what expenses actually count as food stamps deductions?


We have the answer and it may surprise you!

What bills count for food stamps?

There are a handful of expenses that can count as food stamps deductions. These expenses can be grouped into just a few primary categories: Housing, Child Care and Medical.

Housing Costs

Most of your housing-related expenses can count toward your food stamps. Incidentally, this is one reason why so many people wonder if they can still get food stamps even if they don’t pay rent.

If you’re wondering “what bills count for food stamps?” then you can include these in your list:

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Light or electric bill
  • Water or sewer bill
  • Gas bill if you use gas to cook or heat your home.
  • Garbage pick-up fees
  • Phone line (one basic phone line per residence)
  • Property tax or insurance costs

In some states, a standard utility deduction is used. In these areas, it is not important to prove how much you actually pay in utilities because they use the same standard amount for every household.

Child Care Expenses

If you have minor children, then there are certain childcare related expenses that also count as food stamps deductions. This is very helpful, since children can be very expensive to feed!

If you have kids, add these to the “What bills count for food stamps?” list:

  • Child support payments that you are court-ordered to pay
  • Day care or babysitting expenses

Please note that day care and babysitting expenses must be related to employment or education. They only count if you are working, looking for work or attending school.

Only court-ordered child support payments will count toward this. If you pay extra, the overages will not be counted. You may be asked to provide court documentation to verify your actual court obligation in order to receive this deduction.

Medical Expenses

If you are over the age of 60 or disabled, then you can also count a lot of your medical expenses toward your food stamps! This is one of the most surprising things people uncover when they start questioning what bills count for food stamps.

You could potentially include your insurance co-pays, hospital bills, prescription and over-the-counter medication costs, and even the mileage to and from your appointments! This a very important deduction for seniors and people who are disabled.


Please note that if you have to pay for personal care for an elderly or disabled member of your household while you work, then the cost of that care is probably also deductible. Pet care expenses are never counted, however.

Other Deductions

There are a few other deductions that don’t exactly correlate with bills that you pay. For example, these include the standard deduction, earnings deduction and more. These are calculated automatically by the food stamps office.

For more information about about how these are calculated, please click over to our other post, “How to Get More Food Stamps!”


Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

i live with my brother. i pay the water bill. can i qualify for food stamps?? i make 2160 per month.

Catherine Marucci

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Hi J. Here's how they calculate the benefits:


Friday 6th of May 2022

@Nancy Shea, Hi.. I was speaking to a case manager social worker about this. And my understanding is that Medicare is deducted from the income side (presuming it is deducted from your SSDI payment. So in a sense it is deducted in entirety. I presume the law makers did that because it is a medical expense. And as a full deduction, seperate (i presume) from the medical expense deductions, which have a $35 deductable.

Amanda J

Sunday 16th of January 2022

I've been receiving SNAP for a few years in Southern California. Recently, assumingly due to a couple of people now working from home, the electric bill has skyrocketed (over $300). They want to put the bill in my name so it applies the SNAP discount. I wonder if that would affect anything on my end since I didn't have anything in my name before.