Urban Institute Low Income Working Families project
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Net Income Change Calculator (NICC)

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If a low-income family earns more money, how much will the family's benefits from safety-net programs go down, how much will state and federal income and payroll taxes change, and how much will the family's total income go up?

Answers to those questions depend on many factors, including:

  • the size of the earnings increase,
  • the number and ages of children,
  • the type of family — single parent, unmarried couple, or married couple,
  • the safety net programs in which they participate,
  • whether paid child care is needed,

and other family characteristics.

The Net Income Change Calculator (NICC) allows a user to specify a scenario to test and then shows the results for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

NICC calculates a family's income at different earnings levels considering the effects of payroll taxes, income taxes, tax credits, child care expenses, and cash and in-kind benefits.

Safety-net programs incorporated into the calculations include Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program), housing vouchers, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and child care subsidies through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).

NICC uses 2012 tax laws and benefit rules, capturing both the detailed rules of each program and the complex interactions across programs.