Sending Office: Honorable Al Lawson, Jr.
Sent By:

Dear Colleague:

Just under 70 million people in the United States are over the age of 60.  Many of these individuals live on fixed incomes and are disabled.

While vulnerability among these groups is high, utilization of entitlement programs is particularly low, provided eligibility for programs such as SNAP, Medicare Part D low-income subsidy, and the Medicare Savings Program—are geared toward targeting the
elderly and disabled. Although these programs help reduce the poverty rate, we need to make significant changes and study various practices that help improve outcomes and utilization. This is why I’m introducing the
SNAP Standard Medical Expense Deduction Act of 2017.

Deadline: 10AM on Tuesday, September 12th.

Current Cosponsors: Reps. Meeks, Evans, Wilson, Lee, Moore, Kaptur, Adams, McGovern, Speier, Panetta, Hastings, Soto, Nolan, Carson, Lujan Grisham, Holmes-Norton, and Jeffries.

Legislative Note: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

Organizational Endorsements: FRAC, Feeding America, and Share Our Strength.

This legislation will seek to make changes that improve how SNAP, Medicare Part D low-income subsidy, and the Medicare Savings Program serve the elderly and disabled by:

  • Standardizing the Medical Expense Deduction (SMD) for SNAP: Currently, SNAP allows elderly households to deduct unreimbursed medical expenses over $35 per month from their income in calculating their total benefit. While this deduction increases
    the value that seniors can qualify for, only 12 percent of eligible households claim the deduction. This legislation will build upon this success and standardize this deduction across all states at a rate of $140 a month.
  • Increase Interagency Federal Cooperation and Analysis to Increase Utilization of SNAP and Other Low-income Programs: This legislation, beginning in June of 2018, will require the Secretaries of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Social Security
    to report to germane committees in the U.S. House and Senate on the following areas of interest related to SNAP, Medicare Part D, and the Medicare Savings Program:

    • State-by-state performance enrolling eligible seniors and people with disabilities.
    • Best state practices of enrollment in the health and food assistance programs listed above.
    • The relationship of food insecurity and disability, the effectiveness of federal food assistance programs for individuals with disabilities, and adaptive technologies for persons with disabilities in accessing SNAP.

Please join me in becoming an original cosponsor of the SNAP Standard Medical Expense Deduction Act of 2017; the deadline to do so has been extended to tomorrow at 10AM. If you have any questions or are interested in cosponsoring, please
contact Adam LaRose at


Al Lawson

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Agriculture, Budget, Economy, Family Issues, Government, HealthCare, Social Security
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