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Paying for Therapy from Maaser

My son needs lots of physical and occupational therapy. It is currently beyond what I can afford and I’m not sure how long I can do it for. Can I use maaser money to help defray the costs? It is possible I would have to otherwise borrow/receive tzedaka otherwise. Thank you.

Answer:

Yes, you can use maaser money for the therapy.

If a person will reach a level of having to borrow or receive tzedakah money, he is exempt from giving maaser, and therefore you can use the maaser for your son.

In addition, it is possible that you are not formally obligated to give your son the therapy: A person is obligated to teach his son Torah (so tuition can’t be paid from maaser), and to a degree this will include therapies that he requires, but not every therapy.

For more details, please see here, and see also our articles on maaser here for the obligation of maaser for somebody struggling with his income.

Best wishes.

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