What Is Low Income?

In the United States, low income refers to individuals or families that are earning a total of less than two times the federal poverty level. Low income uses family size and the total annual income of all working household members to determine eligibility.

A family that qualifies as low income is often eligible for social services offered through state and federal government agencies. Examples of services that low income families qualify for include cash assistance, food stamps, low-income housing and subsidized medical insurance. State programs establish and follow specific requirements based on family size and income, and have additional requirements regarding assets.