Some numbers:

$22,050Poverty line for a family of 4.
$ 5,048Earned Income Tax Credit for family of 4 making $22,050
$ 3,000Estimated annual Food Stamps for Family of 4 making $22,050 ($250/month)
$ 1,080School lunch benefit @ $3/day for 2 kids and 180 school days.
$ 7,951Average employee contribution to health care for family of 4 (Medicaid benefit)
$39,129Total effective income of family of 4 with $22,050 in wages.

And that's not counting eligibility for Section 8 housing vouchers. (The program has waiting lists and can be hard to get into.)

So, a family of 4 making $22,050 can have an effective income of 77% more than that amount, or $17,000 more. In fact, the median household income in the US is $31,111, so the "poverty line" denotes families which can make $8,000 more than the median.