Update of the HHS PovertyGuidelines

 [Federal Register: February 15, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 31)] [Notices]                [Page 7555-7557] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr15fe00-83]                           -----------------------------------------------------------------------  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES  Office of the Secretary    Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines  AGENCY: Department of Health and Human Services.  ACTION: Notice.  -----------------------------------------------------------------------  SUMMARY: This notice provides an update of the HHS poverty guidelines  to account for last (calendar) year's increase in prices as measured by  the Consumer Price Index.  EFFECTIVE DATE: These guidelines go into effect on the day they are  published (unless an office administering a program using the  guidelines specifies a different effective date for that particular  program.)  ADDRESS: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation,  Room 404E, Humphrey Building, Department of Health and Human Services  (HHS), Washington, DC 20201.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about how the poverty  guidelines are used in a particular program, contact the Federal (or  other) office which is responsible for that program.     For general information about the poverty guidelines (but NOT for  information about a particular program--such as the Hill-Burton  Uncompensated Services Program--that uses the poverty guidelines),  contact Gordon Fisher, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning  and Evaluation, Room 404E, Humphrey Building, Department of Health and  Human Services, Washington, DC 20201--telephone: (202) 690-5880;  persons with Internet access may visit the poverty guidelines Internet  site at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/poverty.htm>.     For information about the Hill-Burton Uncompensated Services  Program (no-fee or reduced-fee health care services at certain  hospitals and other health care facilities for certain persons unable  to pay for such care), contact the Office of the Director, Division of  Facilities Compliance and Recovery, HRSA, HHS, Room 10C-16, Parklawn  Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857--telephone:  (301) 443-5656 or 1-800-638-0742 (for callers outside Maryland) or 1- 800-492-0359 (for callers in Maryland); persons with Internet access  may visit the Division of Facilities Compliance and Recovery Internet  home page site at http://www.hrsa.gov/osp/dfcr>. The Division of  Facilities Compliance and Recovery notes that as set by 42 CFR  124.505(b), the effective date of this update of the poverty guidelines  for facilities obligated under the Hill-Burton Uncompensated Services  Program is sixty days from the date of this publication.     For information about the percentage multiple of the poverty  guidelines to be used on immigration forms such as INS Form I-864,  Affidavit of Support, contact the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization  Service. To obtain information on the most recent applicable poverty  guidelines from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, call 1-800- 375-5283. Persons with Internet access may obtain the information from  the Immigration and Naturalization Service Internet site at http:// www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/howdoi/affsupp.htm>.     For information about the Department of Labor's Lower Living  Standard Income Level (a self-sufficiency criterion with the poverty  guidelines for certain Workforce Investment Act employment and training  programs), contact Ronald E. Putz, U.S. Department of Labor--  telephone: (202) 219-7694, extension 142--e-mail: rputz@doleta.gov>.     For information about the number of people in poverty (since 1959)  or about the Census Bureau (statistical) poverty thresholds, contact  the HHES Division, Room 1472, Federal Office Building #3, U.S. Bureau  of the Census, Washington, DC 20233--telephone: (301) 457-3242-- or  send e-mail to hhes-info@census.gov>; persons with Internet access may  visit the Poverty section of the Census Bureau's World Wide Web site at  http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html>.  2000 Poverty Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of                                 Columbia ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                 Poverty                      Size of family unit                       guideline ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1...........................................................     $ 8,350 2...........................................................      11,250 3...........................................................      14,150 4...........................................................      17,050 5...........................................................      19,950 6...........................................................      22,850 7...........................................................      25,750 8...........................................................      28,650 ------------------------------------------------------------------------      For family units with more than 8 members, add $2,900 for each  additional member. (The same increment applies to smaller family sizes  also, as can be seen in the figures above.)                         2000 Poverty Guidelines for Alaska ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                 Poverty                      Size of family unit                       guideline ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1...........................................................     $10,430 2...........................................................      14,060 3...........................................................      17,690 4...........................................................      21,320 5...........................................................      24,950 6...........................................................      28,580 7...........................................................      32,210 8...........................................................      35,840 ------------------------------------------------------------------------      For family units with more than 8 members, add $3,630 for each  additional member. (The same increment applies to smaller family sizes  also, as can be seen in the figures above.)                     2000 Poverty Guidelines for Hawaii ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                           Poverty                   Size of family unit                    guideline ------------------------------------------------------------------- 1.....................................................     $ 9,590 2.....................................................      12,930 3.....................................................      16,270 4.....................................................      19,610 5.....................................................      22,950 6.....................................................      26,290 7.....................................................      29,630 8.....................................................      32,970 ------------------------------------------------------------------------      For family units with more than 8 members, add $3,340 for each  additional member. (The same increment applies to smaller family sizes  also, as can be seen in the figures above.)  (Separate poverty guideline figures for Alaska and Hawaii reflect  Office of Economic Opportunity administrative practice beginning in  the 1966-1970 period. Note that the Census Bureau poverty  thresholds--the primary version of the poverty measure--have never  had separate figures for Alaska and Hawaii. The poverty guidelines  are not defined for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American  Samoa, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated  States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana  Islands, and Palau. In cases in which a Federal program using the  poverty guidelines serves any of those jurisdictions, the Federal  office which administers the program is responsible for deciding  whether to use the contiguous-states-and-DC guidelines for those  jurisdictions or to follow some other procedure.)      The preceding figures are the 2000 update of the poverty guidelines  required by section 673(2) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act  (OBRA) of 1981 (Pub. L. 97-35). As required by law, this update  reflects last year's change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U); it was  done using the same procedure used in previous years.     Section 673(2) of OBRA-1981 (42 U.S.C. 9902(2)) requires the use of  the poverty guidelines as an eligibility criterion for the Community  Services Block Grant program. The poverty guidelines are also used as  an eligibility criterion by a number of other Federal programs (both  HHS and non-HHS). Due to confusing legislative language dating back to  1972, the poverty guidelines have sometimes been mistakenly referred to  as the ``OMB'' (Office of Management and Budget) poverty guidelines or  poverty line. In fact, OMB has never issued the guidelines; the  guidelines are issued each year by the Department of Health and Human  Services (formerly by the Office of Economic Opportunity/Community  Services Administration). The poverty guidelines may be formally  referenced as ``the poverty guidelines  annually in the Federal  Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under  authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2).''     The poverty guidelines are a simplified version of the Federal  Government's statistical poverty thresholds used by the Bureau of the  Census to prepare its statistical estimates of the number of persons  and families in poverty. The poverty guidelines issued by the  Department of Health and Human Services are used for administrative  purposes--for instance, for determining whether a person or family is  financially eligible for assistance or services under a particular  Federal program. The poverty thresholds are used primarily for  statistical purposes. Since the poverty guidelines in this notice--the  2000 guidelines--reflect price changes through calendar year 1999, they  are approximately equal to the poverty thresholds for calendar year  1999 which the Census Bureau expects to issue in September or October  2000. (A preliminary version of the 1999 thresholds is now available  from the Census Bureau.)     In certain cases, as noted in the relevant authorizing legislation  or program regulations, a program uses the poverty guidelines as only  one of several eligibility criteria, or uses a percentage multiple of  the guidelines (for example, 125 percent or 185 percent of the  guidelines.) Non-Federal organizations which use the poverty guidelines  under their own authority in non-Federally-funded activities also have  the option of choosing to use a percentage multiple of the guidelines  such as 125 percent or 185 percent.     While many programs use the guidelines to classify persons or  families as either eligible or ineligible, some other programs use the  guidelines for the purpose of giving priority to lower-income persons  or families in the provision of assistance or services.     In some cases, these poverty guidelines may not become effective  for a particular program until a regulation or notice specifically  applying to the program in question has been issued.     The poverty guidelines given above should be used for both farm and  non-farm families. Similarly, these guidelines should be used for both  aged and non-aged units. The poverty guidelines have never had an aged/ non-aged distinction; only the Census Bureau (statistical) poverty  thresholds have separate figures for aged and non-aged one-person and  two-person units.  Definitions      There is no universal administrative definition of ``family,''  ``family unit,'' or ``household'' that is valid for all programs that  use the poverty guidelines. Federal programs in some cases use  administrative definitions that differ somewhat from the statistical  definitions given below; the Federal office which administers a program  has the responsibility for making decisions about administrative  definitions. Similarly, non-Federal organizations which use the poverty  guidelines in non-Federally-funded activities may use administrative  definitions that differ from the statistical definitions given below.  In either case, to find out the precise definitions used by a  particular program, one must consult the office or organization  administering the program in question.     The following statistical definitions (derived for the most part  from language used in U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population  Reports, Series P60-185 and earlier reports in the same series) are  made available for illustrative purposes only; in other words, these  statistical definitions are not binding for administrative purposes.     (a) Family. A family is a group of two or more persons related by  birth, marriage, or adoption who live together; all such related  persons are considered as members of one family. For instance, if an  older married couple, their daughter and her husband and two children,  and the older couple's nephew all lived in the same house or apartment,  they would all be considered members of a single family.     (b) Unrelated individual. An unrelated individual is a person 15  years old or over (other than an inmate of an institution) who is not  living with    any relatives. An unrelated individual may be the only person living in  a house or apartment, or may be living in a house or apartment (or in  group quarters such as a rooming house) in which one or more persons  also live who are not related to the individual in question by birth,  marriage, or adoption. Examples of unrelated individuals residing with  others include a lodger, a foster child, a ward, or an employee.     (c) Household. As defined by the Bureau of the Census for  statistical purposes, a household consists of all the persons who  occupy a housing unit (house or apartment), whether they are related to  each other or not. If a family and an unrelated individual, or two  unrelated individuals, are living in the same housing unit, they would  constitute two family units (see next item), but only one household.  Some programs, such as the Food Stamp Program and the Low-Income Home  Energy Assistance Program, employ administrative variations of the  ``household'' concept in determining income eligibility. A number of  other programs use administrative variations of the ``family'' concept  in determining income eligibility. Depending on the precise program  definition used, programs using a ``family'' concept would generally  apply the poverty guidelines separately to each family and/or unrelated  individual within a household if the household includes more than one  family and/or unrelated individual.     (d) Family Unit. ``Family unit'' is not an official U.S. Bureau of  the Census term, although it has been used in the poverty guidelines  Federal Register notice since 1978. As used here, either an unrelated  individual or a family (as defined above) constitutes a family unit. In  other words, a family unit of size one is an unrelated individual,  while a family unit of two/three/etc. is the same as a family of two/ three/etc.     Note that this notice no longer provides a definition of  ``income.'' This is for two reasons. First, there is no universal  administrative definition of ``income'' that is valid for all programs  that use the poverty guidelines. Second, in the past there has been  confusion regarding important differences between the statistical  definition of income and various administrative definitions of  ``income'' or ``countable income.'' The precise definition of  ``income'' for a particular program is very sensitive to the specific  needs and purposes of that program. To determine, for example, whether  or not taxes, college scholarships, or other particular types of income  should be counted as ``income'' in determining eligibility for a  specific program, one must consult the office or organization  administering the program in question; that office or organization has  the responsibility for making decisions about the definition of  ``income'' used by the program (to the extent that the definition is  not already contained in legislation or regulations).      Dated: February 9, 2000. Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services. [FR Doc. 00-3478 Filed 2-10-00; 2:30 pm] BILLING CODE 4154-05-P  
Updated January 13, 2015