The self support reserve is the amount of money a parent paying support needs to have available to support themselves. It is intended to ensure low-income parties can meet their own basic needs as well as provide an incentive for continued employment. In Pennsylvania, the self-support reserve is presently $931 a month. This number reflects the federal poverty level for one person. In calculating a support award when the party to pay support has income equal or less to the self-support reserve amount, the court can only award support after consideration of the parties' actual financial resources and living expenses instead of a strict adherence to the guideline amount.