The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published the Federal Poverty Levels (FPL) for this year. There’s a slight increase, as would be expected. To be on the very verge of poverty (100% of FPL) as the federal government has determined, an individual would have annual income of $15,060. That calculates at a monthly income of $1,255.

Again, it’s worth pointing out that an SSI recipient receiving the full Federal Benefit Rate and no more ($943) has income calculated to be at 75% of the FPL. A situation that the government seems content to leave beneficiaries despite the obvious fact that they are truly kept in poverty.

The FPL may seem a rather arbitrary figure but is the basis for the calculation of such things as SNAP, Medical Assistance, Medicare Savings Programs, and other such federal and state sponsored programs. It matters.

You can see the full array of figures here: detailed-guidelines-2024.xlsx (