Means Test Income Limits

In Part 2 of Bankruptcy Form 122A-1 and Part 2 of Bankruptcy Form 122C-1, debtors are instructed to fill in the median income for their states and the size of their households. The United States Census Bureau publishes this information, and the data is updated each year (usually twice).

Median family income levels are important because debtors whose current income is less than such medians automatically pass the bankruptcy means test. When a debtor has a current income that exceeds the state median income, he or she may be forced to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead—a far lengthier process that requires debtors to pay back some portion of their debts over the course of three to five years.

Bankruptcy Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH Discusses Means Test Income Limits

If you think that you might make too much money to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, it is in your best interest to have legal counsel assist you in assessing your eligibility options. Steiden Law Offices represents clients in communities all over Hamilton County in Ohio as well as Boone County and Kenton County in Kentucky.

Our Cincinnati bankruptcy attorneys can help you find the debt solutions that allow you to get a fresh start. Call right now to schedule a free initial consultation that will let our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case.


Northern Kentucky Means Test Income Limits Information Center


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Census Definition of Income

The Census Bureau collects income data from several surveys. Census money income is defined as "income received on a regular basis (exclusive of certain money receipts such as capital gains) before payments for personal income taxes, social security, union dues, Medicare deductions, etc." It includes:

  • income received from wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, and tips;
  • self-employment income from own nonfarm or farm businesses, including proprietorships and partnerships;
  • interest, dividends, net rental income, royalty income, or income from estates and trusts;
  • Social Security or Railroad Retirement income;
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
  • any cash public assistance or welfare payments from the state or local welfare office;
  • retirement, survivor, or disability benefits; and
  • any other sources of income received regularly such as Veterans' (VA) payments, unemployment and/or worker’s compensation, child support, and alimony.

Money income does not reflect such noncash benefits as:

  • food stamps;
  • full or partial payments by business for retirement programs;
  • goods produced and consumed on the farm;
  • health benefits;
  • medical and educational expenses;
  • subsidized housing; and
  • use of business transportation and facilities.

The median income divides the income distribution into two equal groups, one having incomes above the median, and other having incomes below the median.


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Median Household Income Levels in Ohio and Kentucky

The Census Bureau has established the following median family incomes by family size for cases filed in Ohio on or after May 1, 2017:

  • 1 Earner — $46,242
  • 2 People — $57,938
  • 3 People — $68,361
  • 4 People — $83,040

For cases filed in Kentucky during the same period, the Census Bureau has established the following median family incomes by family size:

  • 1 Earner — $42,589
  • 2 People — $51,524
  • 3 People — $57,696
  • 4 People — $72,863

Debtors in either state can add $8,400 for each individual in excess of four.


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Ohio Means Test Income Limits Resources

American FactFinder | Census Bureau — The Census Bureau is the original source for state median family income data. American FactFinder provides access to data from several censuses and surveys. Use this website to download data tables or perform various searches.

Means Testing | UST | Department of Justice — On this section of the Department of Justice website, you can learn more about median family income based on state/territory and family size. You can also find information about National Standards for minimum allowances for out-of-pocket health care expenses, food, clothing, and other items as determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can also learn more about administrative expenses multipliers.


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Steiden Law Offices | Cincinnati Means Test Income Limits Attorney

Do you have concerns about how your income might impact your ability to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Steiden Law Offices helps people throughout Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

Our Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyers can look at all of the specifics that apply to your case to determine your best path forward. They can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call or submit an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation.



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