Release of 2018 HHS Poverty Guidelines

Alexander J. Segal's picture

On January 17, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the new poverty guidelines. These new poverty guidelines became applicable on January 13, 2018. In the immigration context, the HHS poverty guidelines are applicable both in the public charge context and in the fee waiver context. Please see our articles on public charge generally [see article], deportability for public charge [see article], fee waivers with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) [see article], and reduced fee requests for naturalization applications [see article].

HHS Poverty Guidelines

The following charts represent the new HHS poverty guidelines [PDF version]:

2018 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR THE 48 CONTIGUOUS STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Persons in Family/Household Poverty Guideline
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,320 for each additional person.  
1 $12,140
2 $16,460
3 $20,780
4 $25,100
5 $29,420
6 $33,740
7 $38,060
8 $42,380

2018 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR ALASKA

Persons in Family/Household Poverty Guideline
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $5,400 for each additional person.  
1 $15,180
2 $20,580
3 $25,980
4 $31,380
5 $36,780
6 $42,180
7 $47,580
8 $52,980

2018 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR HAWAII

Persons in Family/Household Poverty Guideline
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,970 for each additional person.  
1 $13,960
2 $18,930
3 $23,900
4 $28,870
5 $33,840
6 $38,810
7 $43,780
8 $48,750

Please note that the HHS poverty guidelines are not defined for the following areas:

  • Puerto Rico;
  • U.S. Virgin Islands;
  • American Samoa;
  • Guam;
  • Republic of the Marshall Islands;
  • Federated States of Micronesia;
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; and
  • Palau.

The HHS explains that when cases in which a Federal program using the HHS poverty guidelines are administered in any of the above jurisdictions, the Federal office administering the program will determine whether the HHS guidelines for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia are used or whether some other procedure applies.

The new HHS poverty guidelines were published in the Federal Register at 83 FR 2642 [PDF version]. The HHS has the authority to update the poverty guidelines under Federal statute (see 42 U.S.C. 9902(2)). The USCIS will update the Form I-864P, HHS Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support, to reflect the new poverty guidelines.

As we noted, the HHS poverty guidelines are relevant to immigration law in the public charge and fee waiver contexts. An individual attempting to overcome the presumption of public charge or obtain a fee waiver may consult with an experienced immigration attorney for case-specific guidance.

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Comments

Danielle Giuca's picture

when does the 2018 united states uscis poverty guideline chart being released..?? to sponsor a family of 2 its set at 20,300...does anyone know the usual round about increase figure for 2018