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WIOA Title I-A & I-B Policy & Procedure Manual

Income Guidance

Effective date: June 28, 2018

Revised date: April 30, 2019

Revised date: December 8, 2021


WIOA Title I uses income in a number of ways. Low-income status is one of the barriers to employment1 and is used in determining priority of service for the Adult Program2 and Youth Program eligibility.3 Income is also used to calculate economic self-sufficiency and is part of the definition of displaced homemaker.4

This guidance covers the types of income to count when calculating income for any of these purposes. It is based on the limited WIOA guidance on this topic, the types of income used in calculating the Federal Poverty Guidelines,5 and income as defined by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.6

Included as Income

For purposes of the WIOA Title I programs, DWD-DET counts the following as income:

  1. Gross earnings from salaries, wages, tips, fees, commissions, cash bonuses and similar types of compensation for services
  2. Note: Always count the participant's gross earnings, regardless of age. For family and household income, do not count the earnings of members who are under the age of 18, or who are between the ages of 18 and 26 and in school.
  3. Note: Do not count any military or veteran's pay, allowances, or benefits (but do count military retirement pay, see #8).7
  4. Net revenue derived from ownership or part ownership of a business or farm
  5. Unemployment compensation
  6. Worker's compensation
  7. Alimony or separate maintenance payments
  8. Child support
  9. Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance)
  10. Note: Do not count Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.
  11. Retirement income (includes income from defined benefit and defined contribution plans and military retirement pay)
  12. Annuities
  13. Interest and dividends
  14. Net rental income
  15. Royalties
  16. Income from estates, trusts, and life insurance policies

Note: When calculating income, do not include public assistance, any allowance, earnings, or payments stemming from participation in WIOA Title I-B programs,8 loans, grants, or scholarships.

Note: To be considered members of a family for the purposes of the income calculation under WIOA, all the individuals included must share a single residence.

Time Span

For most purposes of WIOA Title I programs, income is to be calculated for the six-month period prior to the time of the calculation. Since income from farms and businesses may fluctuate, career planners may use income from the 12-month period prior to the time of the calculation, if that better represents the individual's income from these sources.

Note: Economic self-sufficiency calculations are an exception; career planners must use an individual's current income.

To compare income for a six-month period to the Federal Poverty Guidelines or Lower Living Standard Income Level (LLSIL) Guidelines tables, which use annual income, there is no need to find the individual's actual income for the past year; just double the income for the past six months. Income for a 12-month period can be compared directly to the Federal Poverty Guidelines or LLSIL Guidelines.

Family Income and Dependents

See Section for information on calculating family income to help determine Youth Program eligibility.


Generally, self-attestation of income is sufficient; however, in some cases other documentation requirements apply. See Chapter 12 of this manual for those requirements.

Defined Benefit Plan

Effective date: June 28, 2018

Retirement plan that promises a specified monthly benefit at retirement. The plan may state the promised benefit as an exact dollar amount (e.g., $100 per month at retirement) or it may be calculated using a formula that considers factors such as salary and years of service.

Defined Contribution Plan

Effective date: June 28, 2018

Retirement plan that does not promise a specific amount of benefits at retirement. In these plans, the employee or employer (or both) contribute to the employee's individual account under the plan. These contributions are usually invested on the employee's behalf and the employee will ultimately receive the balance in their account which is based on contributions plus or minus investment gains or losses (e.g., 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, employee stock ownership plans and profit sharing plans)

Gross Earnings

Effective date: June 28, 2018

The total amount of income before any tax deductions or pre-tax contributions or withholdings.

Net Revenue

Effective date: June 28, 2018

The amount of money a company receives for selling goods or services after all costs have been paid. Do not deduct amounts paid for taxes.

Social Security Insurance (Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance)

Effective date: June 28, 2018

Monthly benefits paid through the Social Security Administration to qualified retired and disabled workers and their dependents or to survivors of insured workers. These benefits are available to people who have contributed to the system through withholding from their paychecks. This does not include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is also run through the Social Security Administration but is funded through general tax revenue and based on financial need. oasdi.pdf,,

Net Rental Income

Effective date: June 28, 2018

Total rental income received for the use or occupation of property minus the expenses of renting the property (such as maintenance and repairs, mortgage and dwelling insurance, property taxes, advertising, management fees, utility bills, etc.). Do not deduct taxes paid on rental income.
Rental Income and Expenses Tax Tips, IRS publication 527


Effective date: June 28, 2018

A payment made for the right to use or exploit a valuable right. Examples of valuable rights include patents, copyrighted works, trademarks or trade names, good will, or interest in natural resources.

Supplemental Security Income

Effective date: August 20, 2018

"Supplemental Security Income" (SSI) is a federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It provides cash assistance to aged, blind, and disabled people who have little or no income so they can meet their basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Family (20 CFR § 675.300)

Effective date: October 1, 2017

"Family" means two or more persons related by blood, marriage, or decree of court, who are living in a single residence, and are included in one or more of the following categories:

A "married couple" can either be a man and a woman or same-sex individuals. United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct.2675 (2013); 81 FR 56088

Public Assistance

Effective date: August 20, 2018

Revised date: September 1, 2020

"Public Assistance" means federal, state, or local government cash payments where eligibility is determined by a needs or income test.

WIOA Sec. 3(50)

As WIOA does not define "cash payments," DWD-DET used definitions provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to define "cash payments" as cash or a cash equivalent, such as a debit card or check, that can be spent however the recipient choses, and is not restricted to a specific purpose like groceries or childcare.

U.S. Census Bureau (; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (