What Are the Federal Poverty Guidelines?

December 20, 2022

The term “poverty” is commonly associated with the lack of an ability to pay for housing, food, and other necessities. But this term is meaningless when it comes to the monetary requirements for poverty that are established by the federal government.

In order to measure whether or not a person or family is in poverty, the federal government has established federal poverty guidelines. These guidelines help to establish the eligibility requirements for many government programs.

In this article, we will discuss the federal poverty guidelines, as well as some of the government assistance programs that may be available to you if your income falls below these guidelines.

What Are the Federal Poverty Guidelines?

The federal poverty guidelines are a chart that determines the poverty level for individuals and families. It establishes a guideline that is the maximum amount that a person can earn to be considered at or below the poverty line. On a federal level, these guidelines are important for determining eligibility for federal programs.

Below is a chart of the 2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines for the 48 contiguous states and D.C. you can find the full information here. **Note: The guidelines are different for Alaska and Hawaii than they are for the rest of the country. **

Persons in family/householdPoverty guideline

What Benefits Are You Entitled to When Below the Federal Poverty Guidelines?

You may be familiar with seeing percentages associated with these guidelines for the purpose of determining eligibility. For example, the Lifeline program has a requirement that subscribers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines to qualify.

Here is a list of benefits you might be entitled to

  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps (SNAP)
  • Section 8 Housing
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Lifeline

These benefits cover health care, food assistance, housing assistance, income supplementation, and communications assistance. Each of these programs contributes to the ability of low-income families to have relief from their current poverty status, have access to necessities, and try to improve their status without additional stress.

Those who are in poverty can hope to see their lives impacted positively by these benefits and should seek them out if they are eligible!


In conclusion, if you meet the requirements for being below the federal poverty guidelines, there are likely many government programs that you qualify for like Free Government Cell Phones, Free Mobile Phone Program, Medicaid Cell Phone Kentucky etc. In order to try to improve your status, you can apply for these government programs and alleviate some of the strain and stress of being low-income.

If the Lifeline program interests you, Safelink Wireless is an excellent choice for a service provider for your Lifeline plan. Brought to you by TracFone Wireless, Safelink is an exclusive Lifeline wireless phone service provider. Through Safelink Wireless, you may be eligible for a free smartphone in addition to your reduced cell phone bill. Click here for more information!

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