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HHS Releases Notice Concerning Federal Poverty Guidelines

May 29, 2015—This week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published an Information Memorandum with updated federal poverty guidelines (FPG) for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2016. These guidelines are based on the guidelines that the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of HHS originally issued on January 22, 2015. The FPG is one of the income criteria that LIHEAP grantees can use in determining household eligibility.

LIHEAPs may choose to adopt these poverty guidelines any time after that original publication date. However, they will be required to adopt them by October 1, 2015, the beginning of FFY 2016, or by the beginning of the grantees' 2016 fiscal year, whichever is later. According to LIHEAP regulations, grantees can establish the maximum household income for LIHEAP eligibility at either 150 percent of these federal poverty guidelines, or at 60 percent of state median income (SMI). The FFY 2016 guidelines are shown in the table below.

In the coming fiscal year, the eligibility for a family of four at 150 percent of FPG increases $600 from that of FFY 2015. In FFY 2015, a family of four at 150 percent of poverty would include households that brought in up to $35,775 in income. In the upcoming fiscal year, a family of four at 150 percent of FPG will include households that earn up to $36,375.

Size of family
100 Percent of HHS
Poverty Guidelines
110 Percent of HHS
Poverty Guidelines
150 Percent of HHS
Poverty Guidelines
1 $11,770 $12,947 $17,655
2 $15,930 $17,523 $23,895
3 $20,090 $22,099 $30,135
4 $24,250 $26,675 $36,375
5 $28,410 $31,251 $42,615
6 $32,570 $35,827 $48,855
7 $36,730 $40,403 $55,095
8 $40,890 $44,979 $61,335


Sources: HHS, LIHEAP Clearinghouse