Funding for Individuals With Mental Health Issues or Developmental Disabilities


In Iowa, both the state and the county provide funding for services for people who have developmental disabilities or mental health difficulties. Federal funds are also used to support the services. The federal money comes through either the county or the state.

The types of services that are available depend on the type of disability that an individual has. Whether the government has to fund services also depends on the type of disability that an individual has.

Applications for funds to pay for these services are made at the local Iowa Department of Human Services office. Applications are also made online here: Where the applications are made depends on the type of services that are being requested. Often, an individual will be provided with a case manager who helps to find the right services. The case manager will also assist with making the application in the right place.

Any time the county or state changes, ends, or denies funding or services a written notice must be given. The notice must explain how to appeal, and should say what the deadline is. If the person who was denied services disagrees with the decision, he or she should file an appeal.

If the services were denied by the Iowa Department of Human Services, the appeal will go through the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. There will be a hearing with an administrative law judge. After the hearing, the judge will send out a decision. The person or the Department of Human Services may ask that the decision be looked at again by the Director of the Iowa Department of Human Services. If the person is not happy with the final decision of the Director of the Department of Human Services, an appeal to state district court can be made. The Department?s final decision will not explain what has to be done to appeal further and an attorney?s help will be needed.
Sometimes, the funding is being provided through the county. In this case, the appeal would be done according to the rules in the county plan. Under the law, the Board of Supervisors cannot make the final decision for the county. The county must have an appeal process with a hearing officer or an appeal board as a final decision maker. The County?s final decision of the county can be appealed to state district court. This final decision will not explain what has to be done to appeal further and an attorney?s help will be needed.

Individuals receiving services or those providing them help, should read all notices carefully and appeal any decision they believe is wrong or unfair.

  • Iowa Legal Aid provides help to low-income Iowans. 
    • To apply for help from Iowa Legal Aid:call 800-532-1275. 
    • Iowans age 60 and over, call 800-992-8161 or 
    • apply online at
If Iowa Legal Aid cannot help, look for an attorney on “Find A Lawyer” on the Iowa State Bar Association website   A private attorney there can talk with you for a fee of $25 for 30 minutes of legal advice.
*As you read this information, remember this article is not a substitute for legal advice. 
Last Review and Update: Nov 30, 2015