As of today, low income Iowans who had unexpected expenses, like a hotel bill, because of the winter storm can apply for a state grant. Department of Human Serivices director Kevin Concannon says applicants must provide receipts for storm-related expenses that are not covered by insurance.
"We reimburse Iowans for items that they already own that need to be repaired or replaced. Some examples of that would be a water heater, clothing that was damaged…minor repairs to a dwelling," Concannon says. Those who were without electricity in their home and moved into a hotel can be reimbursed for that expense, too — up to 50-dollars per day.
Iowa Emergency Management director Dave Miller says his agency started thinking about this kind of a grant program two years ago. "It is really meant to help those that are most in need and those that are least able to afford their repair costs," Miller says. "It’s not meant to make people ‘whole’ (financially), but it is meant to get people back on their feet — especially those that are least able to do that on their own."
According to Miller, the need for this type of a state grant program was driven home when Iowa City residents hit by a tornado last spring failed to qualify for federal disaster aid. If you have questions about the grants to cover expenses from the winter storms just struck Iowa, call 866-434-4692 during regular business hours and state operators will field your calls.
The grant limit per household is $3,319. The grants cannot be used to cover the purchase or rent of a generator, but can be used to pay for an electrician to reconnect your house to the electrical grid.