Eligibility Final Rule: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Eligibility final rule became effective March 12, 2015. The Office of Head Start (OHS) developed these questions and answers in response to issues raised by the Head Start community. For clarity, we grouped the questions by either subject matter or recurring theme. Note: This resource is under review.

Find in text:

Income Verification

May programs use Tax Form 1040 to verify family income?

Are programs still required to deduct from a service member's income allowances specified in the Head Start Act?

Public Assistance

What is public assistance?

If a family receives either SSI or TANF, does the program need to verify the family’s income?

What does it mean "to be eligible, or in the absence of child care potentially eligible, for public assistance" and how do programs determine this?

Teen Parents

The final rule defines "family for a pregnant woman" as all persons who financially support the pregnant woman. Are programs now required to consider income from parents of pregnant, unmarried teen mothers?

Families Experiencing Homelessness and Children in Foster Care

If a family is living with another family because they were evicted and cannot afford their own home, they are homeless. If the family has done nothing to change the situation and still has the same living arrangement a year later, are they still considered homeless?

Are programs required to verify the incomes of families experiencing homelessness and of families of children in foster care?

Additional Allowances for Over-Income

When must programs report that they have enrolled children between 100–130 percent of the poverty line?

Eligibility Final Rule: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). HHS/ACF/OHS. 2015. English.

Last Reviewed: July 2015

Last Updated: October 27, 2016