The Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines are issued each year in the Federal Register. The poverty guidelines are used to determine income eligibility for federal programs.
The poverty guidelines are a simplified version of the poverty thresholds used by the Census Bureau to determine the number of households in poverty. The Department of Health and Human Services takes the information from the latest published poverty thresholds and uses changes in the Consumer Price Index to adjust income amounts to reflect current costs faced by families and individuals.
As of 2015, the highest income level for a single person household to be considered living is poverty is $11,770. Each additional member of the household raises that level by $4,160.