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What is the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)?

The Federal Poverty Level is a measure of income issued every year which is based on income and household size. Federal poverty levels are used to determine your eligibility for federal, state programs and benefits. The federal poverty thresholds were initially developed in 1963-1964 by Mollie Orshansky of the Social Security Administration.

What programs use the Federal Poverty Level?

FPL is generally used to determine eligibility for federal and state programs such as Medicaid, Marketplace Tax Subsidies, energy assistance, SNAP, Family and Planning Services, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), assistance program, premium tax credits on health insurance plans, and the National School Lunch Program. The FPL requirements may vary by state.

How is the Federal Poverty Level

calculated? FPL is calculated based on family size and gross income level in the household. While the U.S. Census Bureau computes the poverty threshold, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updates the HHS poverty guidelines once a year adjusting for inflation.