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Federal Poverty Standards

Explanation of Federal Poverty Income Standards

The governing body of the local assessing unit has the option of considering the age of the resident(s) when establishing their guidelines. This provision only applies when 1 or 2 persons reside in the homestead because there are no age-related thresholds for 3 persons or more in the homestead.

In the Federal Poverty Income Standards table (following page), the term “householder” is used when there are 2 persons residing in the homestead. If a house is owned jointly by a husband and wife, either the husband or wife may be listed as the householder.

The Bureau of the Census defines income to include the following:

  1. Money wages and salaries before any deductions.
  2. Net receipts from non-farm self-employment. These are receipts from a person’s own business, professional enterprise, or partnership, after deductions for business expenses.
  3. Net receipts from farm self-employment. These are receipts from a farm that one operates as an owner, renter, or sharecropper, after deductions for farm operating expenses.
  4. Regular payments from social security, railroad retirement, unemployment compensation, strike benefits from union funds, workers’ compensation, veterans’ payments, public assistance (including Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Supplemental Security Income, Emergency Assistance money payments, and non-federally-funded General Assistance or General Relief money payments).
  5. Alimony, child support, and military family allotments, or other regular support from an absent family member or someone not living in the household.
  6. Private pensions, government employee pensions (including military retirement pay), and regular insurance or annuity payments.
  7. College or university scholarships, grants, fellowships, and assistantships.
  8. Dividends, interest, net rental income, net royalties, periodic receipts from estates or trusts, and net gambling or lottery winnings.

Income does not include the following:

  1. Money received from the sale of property such as stocks, bonds, a house, or a car unless a person is in the business of selling such property.
  2. Withdrawals of bank deposits and borrowed money.
  3. Tax refunds, gifts, loans, lump-sum inheritances, one-time insurance programs.
  4. Food or housing received in lieu of wages and the value of food and fuel produced and consumed on farms.
  5. Federal non-cash benefit programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches.