The AmeriCorps VISTA program provides a living allowance that enables you to live very frugally, like the community you are serving. The allowance is based on poverty rates for a single individual in your geographic area. The living allowance is paid biweekly and deposited directly into your bank account.
The living allowance covers basic necessities such as housing, food, and utilities. Federal income tax deductions, if applicable, are withheld from the living allowance. No state, county, or city tax deductions are withheld. You are responsible for paying the appropriate taxes.
Your sponsoring organization or your AmeriCorps VISTA State Office can give you the most up-to-date information on the amount that you will be receiving for each pay period.
Prior to starting VISTA service, you must complete the following forms in your MyAmeriCorps account: Direct Deposit, Federal Tax Withholding (W-4 form), and Unpaid Compensation Information (also known as Designation of Beneficiary). Watch this video on how to complete your direct deposit.
While the VISTA program does not encourage you to seek outside employment, and understanding that commitment to your assigned project is your top priority, you are permitted to work part-time with permission from your supervisor.
Visit our Managing Your Living Allowance site for tips and resources to help you with everyday savings, budgeting, and building your financial literacy skills.
For more information on the living allowance and suggestions for living on a limited budget, explore these useful resources:
- Managing Your Living Allowance
- Resources for Living on the Living Allowance
- Saving Money on Health Care
- Budget Calculator
- Living Allowance Calendar and Sample Statement
- VISTA Living Allowance Rates
- VISTA Living Allowance Rates by County
- Living on the Living Allowance (Webinar for VISTAs)
- Living Allowance in Chapter 5 of Member Handbook