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(food stamps) When calculating a household’s monthly food stamp benefit, food stamp rules require calculation of its net income, with lower net income amounts (larger deductions) producing higher food stamp benefits. This calculation is done by subtracting a series of dollar deductions from the household’s total cash monthly income, so as to better reflect the amount of money the household has available for food spending. Food stamp deductions include: (1) a "standard deduction" ($134 a month) that is subtracted for all recipients, (2) an earned income deduction (20% of any earnings) in recognition of taxes and work expenses, (3) a deduction for dependent care expenses related to work or training (up to certain limits), (4) a deduction for child support payments, (5) a deduction for medical expenses above $35 a month (only available to elderly and disabled recipients), and (6) a deduction for excessively high shelter expenses (those above roughly one-third of a household’s income, up to certain limits).

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