Poverty guideline change starting July 1 allows NECAC to serve more disadvantaged people

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BOWLING GREEN, Mo. — A change in income guidelines means that the North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) can serve more disadvantaged people.

The annual income limits under federal poverty guidelines for Community Services Block Grant programs were raised July 1.

A single-person household which previously had an annual income of $18,825 could now receive assistance if the income was below $30,120. For a family of four, the limit used to be $39,000 a year, but is now $62,400.

In a press release, Kayla Wasson, who oversees the agency’s community service programs, said, “This is great news for disadvantaged people in NECAC’s 12 counties and throughout Missouri. In tough economic times, those in need must stretch their budgets as far as they can. This change will help more people be able to apply for and receive assistance.”

The Missouri Department of Social Services announced the change. The poverty guidelines are issued each year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and outline poverty thresholds used to determine financial eligibility for federal programs. Clients with an annual income of up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level can now qualify for services. Previously, the limit was 125 percent.

NECAC and other Community Action Agencies in Missouri have advocated for the change.

“We’ve felt that the income limits have been too low for a long time,” Wasson said. “So, it’s probably overdue that they would be placed at a level which better reflects the needs of people who are struggling.”

Following are the annual income limits for the former 125 percent and the new 200 percent guideline. Additional family size guidelines are available. Questions may be directed to NECAC at 573-324-6633.

125 percent guideline200 percent guideline
1 person$18,825$30,120
2 person$25,550$40,880
3 person$32,275$51,640
4 person$39,000$62,400
5 person$45,725$73,160
6 person$52,450$83,920

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