Tax Deductibility of Incontinence Supplies

Are incontinence supplies a tax deductible? 
With tax time right around the corner many caregivers and individuals are wondering if their incontinence supplies are tax deductible. With over 18 million people in the US having urinary incontinence this is not only a valid question, but one that gets asked often.

Unfortunately the answer is not cut and dry, as most IRS guidelines are, there are some conditions that need to be met, and some qualifications that have to be considered before you can use incontinence products as tax deductions.

According to the guideline, incontinence supplies can be tax deductible if you can show they are needed for a specific disease. According to IRS guidelines, "You cannot include in medical expenses the amount you pay for diapers or diaper services, unless they are needed to relieve the effects of a particular disease." However, it is often better to seek reimbursement through your health savings account or FSA if you can get a letter from a physician explaining the reason you need the products.

There are a few ways you could get your incontinence supplies covered, and in each case it will depend on the circumstances, so you may want to visit your local county office for the aging to get more information on how to get reimbursement or use these products as a deduction.

In most cases, the cost of incontinence supplies can be covered through an insurance plan, a government program, a flexible spending account or a health savings account.

Government Programs: Some government programs will provide reimbursement for qualified medical expenses through a local level using country offices, or on a state level through Medicaid. Unfortunately the definition of what qualifies as a medical expense will vary from program to program, so it is important to talk to someone to help insure your needed supplies are covered.

Insurance, HSAs, and FSAs: If you are trying to get health insurance to cover the cost of incontinence supplies you will likely need to submit receipts for the products, and then it is up to the provider as to whether or not they will reimburse for the product and supplies or not. With both HAS and FSA accounts, the process is similar. You buy the products, submit receipts to the plan admin, and then get reimbursed later.

Another option is diaper banks. These are a place where those in need of diapers, but can’t afford them, can get them. While often for babies, adult products are also included in many banks, and are usually distributed not directly from the bank, but through non profit organizations such as churches, family resource centers, and food banks.

No matter how you seek reimbursement for your incontinence supplies, be sure to keep all receipts and ask your doctor for a letter explaining your need. This will help expedite the process!

And be sure to get the right types of supplies for your needs. You can find and explanation of types (pull-ons, adjustable underwear, briefs, undergarments and more) here. You can try samples before you buy or use The Incontinence Product Finder to get the right products for you!

Further Reading: 

Tax Deduction Resources for Adult Diapers and Incontinence Supplies
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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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