In Illinois, the guidelines used to determine what qualifies as low income may vary depending on the agency. However, low income is typically a household income 80 percent or less than the median income for the state or county based on the number of people living in the household.
Low Income Classification
According to 2014 data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a family of three is considered low income if the household income is $49,100 a year or less in Illinois. A very low income for a family of three is $30,700 a year or less, which is half of the statewide median income. Some agencies may use the county's median income. For example, in Brown County, $42,000 a year is considered low income for a family of three. In Will County, low income for a family of three is $52,150 a year or less. Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program use the federal poverty level to determine low income status. For example, the federal poverty level in the U.S. is $19,790 a year for a family of three as of 2014. To qualify for Medicaid as a parent, the household income can't exceed 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $26,320.70 for a household of three.