Your public housing agency (PHA) will utilize a Section 8 housing eligibility calculator to determine whether or not your family qualifies for benefits.
While households must meet several eligibility requirements to receive benefits from the Housing Choice Voucher Program, income is one of the most prominent qualifications.
Section 8 is a welfare program that is income-based. Therefore, benefits are only provided to low and very-low-income households in an effort to aid the most vulnerable populations in America.
To learn more about the Section 8 income eligibility calculator, it is essential that you learn:
- Whose income is countable when applying for Section 8.
- The types of income that is countable for Section 8.
- Adjusted income.
In learning about these crucial topics, you will be more prepared for your application for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Moreover, you may gain a better idea as to whether or not you will qualify for benefits.
What are the income limits for the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
If you are looking for a Section 8 income eligibility calculator, you are likely interested in knowing the income limit for your local community.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program provides benefits to qualifying households and families whose income is below 50 percent of an area’s median income level.
However, federal laws require 75 percent of all housing vouchers to be given to families with income levels that do not exceed 30 percent of their community’s median income.
For these reasons, exact income guidelines vary between counties and metropolitan areas. The only way you can learn about the specific dollar amount limits for a community is by contacting your community’s public housing agency.
What are section 8 income calculators used for?
The Section 8 housing eligibility calculator aids public housing agencies in determining which applicant families and households qualify for benefits under the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
While several factors are considered to determine an applicant’s eligibility, income is one of the primary factors that affect benefit eligibility and amounts.
Whose income is counted for the Section 8 housing calculator?
To determine the result of a Section 8 income eligibility calculator, you must first know what income is countable.
The income of most adults who live within the home, including emancipated minors, is countable. An adult’s income is not considered countable in the following cases:
- An emancipated minor who is living with a family and is not considered to be the head, co-head or spouse of the family.
- Any income beyond the first $480 annual income of a dependent, full-time student who is older than 18 years of age.
Full-time students must be considered dependents and thus not the head of household, co-head or spouse for income to be excluded from eligibility calculations.
The Section 8 eligibility calculator does not take income made from minors younger than 18 years of age who are not emancipated into consideration. This is true for both dependent children and foster children.
Types of Income Considered for the Section 8 Calculator
Your PHA will use a Section 8 income eligibility calculator to determine your Section 8 eligibility and benefit amount. Most forms of income are calculated for Section 8, including income from:
- Employment (part-time, full-time, seasonal, etc.)
- Self-employment related income.
- Government programs, such as Social Security, Social Security Disability or Unemployment Insurance.
- Regular gifts or cash contributions made by a person who is not living within the household.
Some of the types of income that is considered countable can vary between state Section 8 programs.
For example, some state programs choose to count child-care related payments or expenses, while others may calculate this income or expense in a different way.
Determining Adjusted Income for the Section 8 Calculator
When your PHA caseworker uses a Section 8 income eligibility calculator to determine your household’s eligibility and benefit amount, you may qualify for an adjusted income.
Generally, an adjusted income is the amount that rent assistance will be based upon if your family qualifies for benefits.
Whether or not a household qualifies for an adjusted income us based upon several factors, including family expenses and household composition.
There are five deductions that your household may qualify for. Most families will receive one or all of the following deductions for an adjusted income:
- Disability assistance.
Your household may qualify for one or both of the following deductions if the head, spouse or co-head of your household is disabled or a senior citizen:
- Elderly/disabled deductions.
- Unreimbursed medical expenses deduction.
When utilizing a Section 8 eligibility calculator, families receive an adjusted income deduction of $480 for each family member living within the home that is not a foster child or adult who is:
- A full-time student.
- A child who is under the age of 18.
However, these are general rules, as some family members will not qualify as a dependent due to other factors.
In some cases, child-care deductions may be applied to a family’s adjusted income for expenses related to the care of a child who is younger than 13 years of age. This deduction will only apply if certain criteria are met, such as:
- The childcare is necessary for a family member to work, further their education or find employment.
- There are no other adult family member that could provide childcare.
- The childcare expenses are considered reasonable.
- The childcare-related expenses are not to be reimbursed by an individual or agency outside of the Section 8 family.
Disability Assistance Deductions
The Section 8 eligibility calculator can be adjusted for applicable disability assistance deductions. Deductions are provided to families that have unreimbursed expenses to assist adult disabled family members maintain employment.
A family can receive a $400 deduction to their adjusted income if at least one elderly or disabled family member is the head, co-head or spouse of the family.
Only one deduction can be provided, even if there is more than one elderly or disabled person that meets criteria.
Medical Expenses Deductions
In some cases, medical expenses that will not be reimbursed for qualifying senior citizens or disabled persons may apply a deduction to a family’s adjusted income.