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Eligibility by Program

Eligibility Variations by Program

ProgramNotesApplication ProcessAlabamaIndianaMassachusetts
MedicaidEligibility based on income and other criteria. Thresholds largely set at federal level, but states have discretion to go above or to add additional populations via waivers. Ex: HCBS

Income calculated using Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) as a percent of the federal poverty Level (FPL)
Federal, State, and Local Consumers can apply at local public health agencies, may be enrolled through presumptive eligibility, may apply directly to their state either online or through a paper application or may apply at the federal level through

States have the option to use express lane (1902(e)(14)(A)), which allows states to rely on findings from SNAP to support Medicaid determinations at application and renewal for certain populations. Guidance from July 2017.
Income :
- Children: 141% FPL
-Pregnant Women: 141% FPL
-Parent/Caretakers: 13% FPL
-Expansion Adults: N/A

Other Criteria:
- Citizen or qualified non-citizen
-Certain groups are eligible for additional services
Income Level :
-Children: 208% FPL (0-1), 158% FPL (1-18)
-Pregnant Women: 208% FPL
-Parent/Caretaker: 19% FPL
-Expansion Adults: 133% FPL

Other Criteria:
- Citizen or qualified non-citizen
-Certain groups are eligible for additional services
Income Level :
-Children: 200% FPL (0-1), 150% FPL (1-18)
-Pregnant Women: 200% FPL
-Parent/Caretaker: 133% FPL
- Expansion Adults: 133% FPL

Other Criteria:
- Citizen or qualified non-citizen
-Certain groups are eligible for additional services
TANFStates have broad discretion to determine eligibility for TANF benefits and services. States can set different limits for programs or services, requirements (i.e. work reqs.) or time limits.

Income calculated using “net” monthly income.
State and Local
State and local agencies may process applications. May include an in-person interview or paper-based applications.
- Limit is $165/mo for an individual or $245/mo for a family of four.
Other Criteria:
- Families with children under the age of 18,
- Participate in the state’s JOBS program,
- Apply for any other benefits for which they may be eligible,
- Participate in job search activities

- Limit is $139.50/mo for an individual or $346.50/mo for a family of four.
Other Criteria:
- Pregnant or responsible for a child under the age of 19.
- Citizen, legal alien or permanent resident.
- Adult applicants must participate in IMPACT, IN’s employment and training program, must attend Applicant Job Search Orientation, and complete 20 days of Applicant Job Search activities. Failure to complete the Applicant Job Search program without good cause will result in the denial of the application for cash assistance.
- Complex – described here and here. But simply - $1,564.83/mo for individual and $2,501.85/mo for family of four
- Combined assets of the filing unit may not exceed $2,500
Other Criteria:
- US Citizen, children must be citizens or have eligible immigration status
- Families with at least one dependent child under 18 or 19 and pregnant women with no children in the last 120 days of pregnancy.
- Participants may be required to perform a work-related activity.
LIHEAPStates set income eligibility, however may not be <110% FPL and no more than the greater of 150% FPL or 60% state median income. Beneficiaries of SNAP, TANF, SSI or certain veterans benefits may be auto- eligible.Each state has its own form and rules for applying for energy assistance. May be done through paper or online applications, and may require interviews.

Note – LIHEAP statute provides that states may choose to automatically qualify households in which one or more individuals receive SSI, SNAP, or TANF.
- Income must not exceed 150% FPL

-Income must not exceed 150% FPL
Other Criteria:
-Must have an active account and have the utilities listed in the name of a household resident age 18 or over
-Household must provide proof of residence
-Must have proof of a valid SSN
-Income cannot exceed 60% of state median income
Other Criteria:
-Benefit levels are dependent on the funding allocated by US HHS. Housing subsidies will also determine the specific benefit level.
SNAPEligibility for SNAP set at federal level.

Income calculated using “net” monthly income.
State and Local
Federal level has a pre-screening tool to help consumers understand their potential eligibility, but consumers apply through each state’s individual application. 42 states provide online apps.

Regulations provide that state agencies may maintain and use an ‘income and eligibility verification system’ (IVES)
-Households must meet both gross and net monthly income standards.
-Gross: 130% FPL, Net:100% FPL
-Current limit for individual/four person family is $1,287/$2,633 gross, $990/$2,025 net.
-Households may have $2,250 in countable resources, or $3,250 if at least one person is age 60+, or disabled
Other Criteria:
-Recipients must meet work requirements.
-Elderly must be 60+
-Specific criteria for disability eligibility
-Only immigrants that have lived in the county for 5+ years, or are receiving disability-related assistance or benefits, or are a child under 18.
WICEligibility for WIC set at the federal level.

Income calculated using gross income.
State agencies are responsible for determining eligibility through in-person interview appointments, or online. Statutedescribes the eligibility criteria and process.

Note – regulations provide that “to lend administrative efficiency and participant convenience to the certification process, whenever possible, program intake procedures shall be combined with intake procedures for other health programs or services administered by the state and local agencies…including certification procedures, certification interviews, and income computations.”
-Income: Must not exceed 185 percent FPL, or are otherwise eligible for SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid.
Other Criteria:
-Categorical: individual must be a pregnant woman, a non-breastfeeding woman up to six months post-partum, an infant under one year, or a child up to 5 years.
-Residence: applicants must reside within the state where they establish eligibility and receive benefits.
-Nutrition Risk: Applicants must be at nutrition risk, as determined by a health professional.
WIOA - AdultEligibility for WIOA programs set at federal level. Varies depending on the program. SNAP, TANF, or SSI beneficiaries may be auto-eligible.

WIOA Low Income:
- Receives or in the past 6 months has received SNAP, TANF, SSI, or state or local income-based public assistance OR
- Total family income that does not exceed the higher of 100% FPL or 70% Lower Living Standard Income Level (LLSIL) OR
- Is either: homeless, eligible for free or reduced price lunch, foster child, or has a disability and meets the income test
Per statute and regs, people apply through local one-stop delivery systems (or supplementary centers). Each state creates workforce development regions, each of these regions is comprised of at least one local area (as outlined in the state plan), and each local area (which has a local board) is responsible for a local plan. The local plans create these centers, including the number of centers and supplementary arrangements. WIOA Adult:
-Is 18 or older and authorized to work in U.S.
-Meets income test
WIOA - Dislocated WorkerWIOA Dislocated Worker:
-No income test
-Terminated or laid off, eligible for exhausted UI and unlikely to return to industry or occupation OR
-Lost job from permanent closure or substantial layoff of a plant, facility or enterprise OR
-Was self-employed and now unemployed because of economic conditions OR
-Displaced homemaker OR
-Spouse of unemployed member of armed forces
WIOA - YouthWIOA In-School Youth:
-Meets income test
-14-21 years old and attending compulsory school
-At least one of the following apply: deficient in basic literacy OR homeless OR runaway OR foster care OR pregnant/parenting OR offender OR has a disability OR an English language learner
WIOA Out-Of-School Youth:
-16-24 years old
-Not in school
-School dropout OR received HS diploma, meets income test, and deficient in basic literacy skills OR required to attend school but has not attended for at least the most recent complete school year’s quarter OR homeless/runaway OR foster care OR pregnant/parenting OR juvenile or adult justice system OR has a disability OR requires additional assistance to complete and education program and meets income test
WIOA - Adult Education & Literacy Act Prgms-At least 16 years old
-Not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law
-Is basic skills deficient
-Either does not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent OR is an English language learner
WIOA - Vocational Rehab ProgramsIndividuals with a disability that meets the following criteria:
-Have a physical or mental impairment that poses functional limitations resulting in a substantial impediment to employment
-Require vocational rehabilitation services to obtain or maintain employment
-Must be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services to obtain or maintain employment
Public HousingFederal
Consumers apply through the Rural Housing Service within the Rural Development mission area of the USDA.
- 80% AMI, but at least 40% of new families that an agency admits each year must be
“extremely low income,” (no greater than 30% AMI or FPL, whichever is greater).
Other Criteria:
-Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for assistance.
Housing Choice VouchersEligibility levels set at the federal level, but the program is administered at the local housing agency level. Benefits are subject to availability of housing units.

Income calculated using gross income compared to Area Median Income (AMI) or FPL.
State and local Public Housing Agencies (PHA)
Consumers apply through their local PHA.
50% AMI, but a PHA must provide 75% of its vouchers to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30% AMI.
Section 8 PBRA Income:
-80% AMI, but at least 40 % of assisted united that become available annually must go to families with “extremely low incomes” with income no greater than 30% AMI or the poverty line, whichever is greater.
Other Criteria:
-Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for assistance.
Section 521 – Rural Rental Asst.Federal
Consumers apply through the Rural Housing Service within the Rural Development mission area of the USDA.
- Persons with very low and low incomes, elderly persons, and persons with disabilities if they are unable to pay the basic monthly rent within 30% of AMI.
- Very low income is <50% AMI, low income is between 50 and 80% AMI.
- In new projects, 95% of those assisted must have very low incomes, in existing projects, 75% of new tenants must have very low incomes.