Many families living above the official federal poverty line don’t earn enough to meet basic needs

A recently completed report shows that the actual amount of income required to live self-sufficiently and meet basic needs in Indiana is far higher than the federal poverty standard. Big surprise there, huh! 
This report, The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Indiana 2009 by the University of Washington School of Social Work, provides its own minimum “Self-Sufficiency Wage” based on costs for housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care, taxes and other expenses, as well as on where you live.
Examples of the annual self-sufficiency wage in the Bloomington area, for instance, are $17,244 for an adult; $31,946 for an adult and a preschooler; $41,612 for an adult, an infant and a preschooler; $28,063 for an adult and a teenager; $55,482 for an adult, an infant, a preschooler and a school-age child; and $47,226 for two adults, a preschooler and a school-age child.
Self-Sufficiency Standard
Here is the conclusion of the report:        
A key challenge facing Indiana is to determine how to make it possible for low-income households to become economically self-sufficient. The rising costs of housing, child care, and health care; the lack of education and skills; welfare time limits; and restrictions on training and education all add to the problems faced by many families seeking to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
 The Self-Sufficiency Standard documents the income required for families to live independently, without public or private assistance. The Self-Sufficiency Standard shows that, for most parents, earnings that are well above the official Federal Poverty Guidelines are nevertheless far below what is needed to meet their families’ basic needs.
You can access the entire report by clicking here: FINAL 2009 Indiana SSS Report 10-26-09

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