What Exactly Is Low Income?




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Many assistance programs and charities state that they are for low income families and individuals, few people know what ‘low income’ actually means. As it turns out, there is no single answer to this question. Each county sets their income guidelines based on the median income in the area and they change every year.
 
Extremely low income means that your yearly income is 30% of the median income. Very low income means that you yearly income is 50% of the median income and low income is 80%. For example, if the area median of a 4 person household is $89,300 then extremely low income for a 4 person  household would be $28,000, very low income would be $46,700, and low income would be $74,700. 
 
Thankfully, you don’t have to do the math yourself to find it if your household is considered low income. Each state publishes the yearly income guidelines on their website, which would be {yourstate}.gov. You can also find this information of government program websites like the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. Here are the 2016 income guidelines for each county of each state in the U.S: HUDuser.gov Income Limits.
 
Remember to check these guidelines each year to find out if you qualify for low income government assistance. Nongovernment assistance programs for low income families and individuals may have different income guidelines, so check them before you apply. If you don’t qualify for government or nongovernment low income assistance, you may still be able to find programs that can help you. You can start your search by taking a look at our resources.



By: Alecia Stanton



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