Medical Tax Deductions for ADHD Related Expenses

Health Writer

There are a number of tax deductions for medical expenses that families with ADHD can take advantage of when completing their taxes. Some of these are not often used and even some tax preparers may not be familiar with the eligibility requirements or all of the deductions. Before signing off on your tax form, make sure you have taken all of the deductions you are entitled to.

Medical and dental expenses and health care expenses can be deducted when they reach over 7.5 percent of your gross annual income. Only the expenses over the 7.5 percent will reduce your tax liability. Health care expenses should be calculated for yourself and all eligible dependents, including your spouse. If you and your spouse file separate returns, you can each claim the expenses each of you actually paid.

There are many health and dental expenses allowed under this deduction; however, I have listed those that may be related to having a diagnosis of ADHD. You can review all of the eligible deductions in the IRS booklet: Medical and Dental Expenses.

Alcoholism (Because there is a higher than normal incident rate of substance abuse in adults with ADHD, I have included this category)

· Expenses for inpatient treatment in a therapeutic treatment center for alcohol addiction.

· Transportation to and from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings if attendance is per medical advice that attending meetings is a necessary part of treatment for a disease that resulted in excessive alcohol use.


Some people use chiropractic care as part of their treatment for ADHD. (See information on Alternative treatments) Chiropractic care is considered an eligible medical expense.

Disabled Dependent Care Expenses

If your dependent is considered to be disabled, you may be able to qualify for work-related expenses for purposes of taking a credit for dependent care. You cannot, however, claim these expenses as both a credit and a medical expense deduction. You must choose which way would be best for you.

Drug Addiction (Because there is a higher than normal incident rate of substance abuse in adults with ADHD, I have included this category)

You can claim inpatient treatment in a therapeutic treatment center for drug addictions.

Health Institutes

You can claim treatment received at a health institute if your physician prescribes the care and writes a statement indicating the treatment is necessary to alleviate a physical or mental illness.


You can include inpatient care if you are in the hospital with the main reason of receiving health care.

Insurance Premiums

The premiums you pay for policies that cover medical care. The following insurance policy premiums are considered eligible:

· Medical insurance

· Hospitalization insurance, including insurance for surgical services and x-rays

· Prescription drug insurance

· Dental insurance

· Insurance for replacing lost or damaged contact lenses

· Long term care insurance

· Medicare Part B premiums

· Medicare Part D premiums

· Prepaid insurance premiums

You cannot include premiums paid by your employer unless they are included in box 1 of your Form W-2.

Medical Conferences

If you are attending a conference (such as the annual CHADD conference), you can include certain expenses:

· Transportation to and from the conference

· Admission to the conference

Eligibility for this deduction includes: the conference must be addressing a chronic condition you, your spouse or your dependents have, the conference must be necessary for care of you, your spouse or your dependents and the majority of the time spent at the conference must be attending sessions on medical information.

The cost of meals and lodging while at the conference are not considered eligible deductions.

Medical Information

You can include the costs of a service that keeps your medical information and allows a physician or to retrieve it.


Prescription medication can be included. You cannot include medication that has not been prescribed by a physician. Medicines purchased from a country other than the United States are not eligible expenses.

Over-the-counter medications and nutritional supplements, such as vitamins or herbal supplements are not considered eligible expenses unless they are recommended by a medical provider as treatment for a specific medical condition.

Psychiatric Care

Psychiatric care, psychoanalysis, therapy and psychological care are all eligible medical deductions.

Special Education

In some cases, special education fees, such as tutoring by a teacher specially trained and qualified to work with children with learning disabilities can be eligible as a medical deduction.

Specialized schools for children with learning disabilities can sometimes be included. A doctor must recommend your child attend such a school and overcoming the learning disability must be the main reason for attending the school. Ordinary education received must be incidental to the special education that is provided.

This does not include sending a child to a special school to receive a special course of study or because discipline measures would be beneficial to the student.


Transportation to and from essential medical care can be included.

If using your own car, standard mileage rates can be used ($0.24 per mile) or the cost of gas and oil. If using public transportation, the actual cost of the transportation is included. Parents bringing their child for medical care can include transportation costs as well. Parking fees and tolls can also be included.

Costs for physical check-ups or other care that is for the general improvement of your health cannot be included.

Any medical expenses either covered by your insurance or reimbursed to you must be excluded or deducted from your total medical and dental expenses.

When using medical and dental deductions for tax purposes, you must itemize deductions using Schedule A.

This article is part of a series on taxes here on the ADHD page.   To view the rest of the series, see below:

10 Tips to Help You Do Your Taxes

ADHD and Taxes: Do You Need a Flexible Spending Account or a Health Savings Account

Preparing for Next Year's Taxes


Medical and Dental Expenses, 2009, Publication 502, United States Internal Revenue Service