AmeriCorps Texas
Member Living Allowance


Member Living Allowance Slide Deck
View and follow along with all slides from our Member Living Allowance trainings.

Overview & Requirements

Living Allowance is a financial benefit paid to AmeriCorps members during their term of service. This is not an hourly wage or salary but is intended to assist members in paying for living expenses such as food, housing, or transportation.

Minimum and maximum living allowance amounts by member type can be found in the Notice of Funding and Application Instructions for each grant year.


These grant requirements outline the living allowance requirements, including who must receive a living allowance, how they are to be disbursed, and other guidance regarding living allowance.

Living Allowance Policies

OneStar Living Allowance Policy

OneStar’s Living Allowance Distribution Policy contains living allowance distribution guidance and applies to all AmeriCorps Texas programs. 

Program Living Allowance Policy

All programs that pay living allowance to members are required to create and submit a Program Living Allowance Distribution Policy and Living Allowance Schedule for each grant year. OneStar Program Officers review and approve these documents during Fiscal Pre-Award Risk Assessment before each grant year starts.

While a program living allowance policy might contain language from OneStar’s Living Allowance Policy, it should not be an exact copy. Programs should be intentional in designing living allowance distribution guidelines in their policy that work for their specific program design and organization. At the bare minimum, the policy should detail the process for how living allowance is distributed and the process for prorating living allowance when a suspension occurs or a member exits early or starts late. Requirements for program living allowance policies are included in the Fiscal Readiness Review Checklist.


OneStar Living Allowance Policy
Reference our policy that outlines the rules and federal requirements of distributing living allowance for AmeriCorps programs.

Fiscal Readiness Review Checklist
Use this checklist to ensure your program possesses the relevant documentation and meets criteria for operating a fiscally compliant AmeriCorps program.

Incentives & Increases

Member Leadership Positions

Programs can pay a higher living allowance to members with additional responsibilities or leadership roles. This is subject to the following conditions:


Retention incentives and performance awards are allowable to the extent that they are: 

Increases to Living Allowance During the Grant Year

Living allowance schedules should generally not be altered during a member’s term of service. However, if there are extenuating circumstances that severely affect all members’ living allowance expenses, programs may request approval to increase the per period living allowance amount. Examples of types of extenuating circumstances that might allow a program to increase living allowance amounts during the grant year are sharp increases to costs that affect living such as gas or grocery prices, steep cost of living increases, and disasters or pandemics that might affect members’ costs of living or other sources of income. The request is made through the AmeriCorps Texas Grantee Portal, through the button submit amendment.

Member Taxes & Payroll Set Up

In compliance with Section VIII of the Specific Terms and Conditions, programs must pay FICA taxes for any member receiving a living allowance unless exempt. FICA must also be withheld (no more than 7.65%) from the member’s living allowance payment. 

Federal personal income taxes (and any state or local taxes required) must be withheld from member living allowance.


Member Living Allowance Payroll Set Up Checklist
Provides a list of considerations for establishing payroll for AmeriCorps members to ensure compliance with living allowance requirements.

Living Allowance Template

Programs must submit a living allowance schedule for approval to their Program Officer during Fiscal Pre-Award Risk Assessment for each grant year. If the program needs to make changes to the schedule during the year, an updated schedule must be submitted for Program Officer review and approval. The schedule shows OneStar the following information: 


Member Living Allowance Schedule Template
Complete this spreadsheet with the details of your living allowance schedule and view instructions and a sample pay schedule.

View the video for guidance on how to fill out the template as well as examples of correct and incorrect schedules.