Q: A question arose about the poverty level income calculations. Is the poverty level calculated on Gross Income or Adjusted Income? I have a grandparent that is just above the 14.7 K 135% level that is needed to qualify.
A. We’ve been looking into this since you’ve written us and it’s not really spelled out anywhere we have found. In some places the term “household income” is used; elsewhere simply the word “income” is used. Reachout Wireless and Assurance Wireless call it household income, and Safelink Wireless simply calls it income.
However, judging from what the companies may require for proof of income, it sounds like it’s simply wage income. Among the items they say you may be able to use for documentation are W-2’s, pay stubs, a letter from your employer and last year’s federal tax return. From what we gather, the cell phone providers are not checking very carefully because if a pay stub works, there is no way they can know you may even have a second job. What they seem to want, basically, is for you to tell them your income and sign that it is true. Then, the onerous is on you.
If you know the answer to the question, we’d like to hear from you in the comments below.