Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Scroll Top


Renae Lasday
Board Member At Large, Making An Impact, Inc.


The most common measurements of socioeconomic status are education, income, and occupation levels. The depth of education and cultural resources available to individuals are good indicators of the skills and knowledge it takes to select better working conditions and have a healthier lifestyle. Income can well reflect the position of individuals in the labor market and their living standards. Communities with more financial security enjoy longer life expectancies and better physical and mental health outcomes. Conversely, communities that experience financial hardship do not fare as well.


The poverty line or poverty threshold is important because it is the metric most agencies utilize to determine how much assistance an individual or household may receive. For example, the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) assists those under 130% of the poverty line, and individuals below 138% qualify for Medicaid. However, what happens if an individual or household doesnt meet the qualifications for SNAP or Medicaid? They are now in a coverage gap. By definition, people in the coverage gap have limited family income and live below the poverty level. They are likely in families employed in very low-wage jobs, employed part-time, unemployed due to illness, or have a fragile, unpredictable connection to the workforce. Households and individuals of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions and have fewer resources to buffer against the negative effects of poor health


For example, a household member may report food insecurity because they are cutting meal sizes in order to devote resources to improving the health of the sick adult wage earner. Similarly, household members may double up; that is, move in with extended family to provide extra help with household caregiving or they may move in with extended family because of the threat of eviction. Coping strategies related to seeking help from social service organizations are essential, often immediate, and are needed in large quantities and for extended periods.


1.  Association between socioeconomic status and the development of mental and physical health conditions in adulthood: multi-cohort study   Prof Mika Kivimaki, FMedSci, Prof GDavid Batty, DSc, Jaana Pentti, MSc, Martin J Shipley, MSc, Pyry N Sipila, MD, Solja TT Nyberg, Ph.D., et al. January 2020The Lancet Public Health 5(3)DOI:10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30248-8

2.  The Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Health Inequality
Published: 11th Feb 2020, Nursing Essay

3. Understanding the Social Determinants of Health

Tara O’Neill Hayes, Director of Human Welfare Policy, and Rosie Delk September 4, 2018

4. Understanding how low-socioeconomic status households cope with health shocks: An analysis of multi-sector linked data

5. Various Supports for Low-Income Families Reduce Poverty and Have Long-Term Positive Effects On Families and Children

July 30, 2013, | BY Arloc Sherman, Danilo Trisi, and Sharon Parrott

6. When low-income families can meet their basic needs, children are healthier

Boston Medical Center Release 8-NOV-2018