After a disaster happens, the Iowa governor can issue a state disaster declaration for a county or group of counties. The governor will often do this if the damage affected a lot of people. The governor can also make the Iowa Individual Disaster Assistance Grant Program available to help people in that county.
What kind of help can I get?
You may receive reimbursement for the cost of home repairs or supplies that you needed to make your house livable again. You can receive up to $5,000 in help. You will need to show proof of your identity. You will need to fill out an application that includes proof of your household income and an itemized list of damages incurred from the disaster. This application must be submitted 45 days following the Governor’s declaration of the disaster.
What is not covered?
You cannot get grant money for items that are replaced or repairs that are made that are later covered by insurance or another grant program, like FEMA. If you receive this grant money and your insurance company or another funding agency later reimburses you for the same cost, this is called a duplication of benefits. You will then need to repay the State of Iowa back.
Who is eligible?
All legal US residents whose household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible to apply. The maximum yearly income, based on family size for 2022, is:
200% of federal poverty level (yearly income) 2021 National Poverty Guidelines
Size of the family:
Add $4,720 for each person over 8.
How can I apply?
You can find the application at http://dhs.iowa.gov/disaster-assistance-programs. It is a one-page application with instructions. You can apply by turning the completed application in to your local Community Action Agency. If you do not have internet access, the staff at the Community Action Agency can give you an application form. The staff can also help you fill out the form. There is at least one Community Action Agency in every county in Iowa. If you do not know the one for your county, you can call 211 or find yours at http://iowacommunityaction.org .
What if I am found ineligible for the program or I do not agree with the amount I am awarded?
You will receive a written decision from the Iowa Department of Human Services that will either find you eligible or not eligible for the program. The written decision will also tell you how much money you have been given. If you do not agree, you have the right to file an appeal. You have 30 days from the date of the decision to file a written appeal. This should also be filed with the Community Action Agency handling your case.
Who else can I contact?
· Iowa Legal Aid provides help to low-income Iowans.
· To apply for help from Iowa Legal Aid:
o call 800-532-1275
o Iowans age 60 and over, call 800-992-8161
o apply online at iowalegalaid.org
· If Iowa Legal Aid cannot help, you can look for an attorney on “Find A Lawyer” on the Iowa State Bar Association website – iowabar.org. A private attorney there can talk with you for a fee of $25 for 30 minutes of legal advice.