The federal poverty standards do not reflect the realities of those living at middle class or poverty levels. The definition of middle class has become cloudy as more and more from the middle class find themselves just a paycheck away from a financial crisis. These are two excerpts from the site, http://www.youtube.com/user/spotlightonpoverty where you can find out more on the topic.
The current testing for poverty in the United States is woefully out-of-date, according to Casey Foundation President Douglas Nelson, who testified before Congress in mid-July. There is no accounting for the costs of childcare, transportation and more and these discrepancies fail to properly profile the risk in which children and youth of lower socio-economic groups are placed.