Amy McCoy, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Human Services, says eligible Iowans can get grants of up to $5,000 through one state program.
“Families can use the money for household repairs, to replace household items like washing machines,” McCoy says. “But they can also do things like if they’re lost their glasses in a disaster, they can have those replaced, so they can work with our staff to make sure they have approved plans in place and we do offer that through our case management program as well.”
The Individual Disaster Assistance Grant Program was created after the floods of 2008. Families with a yearly household income that’s at 200 percent of the federal poverty level or below that are eligible, but must file an application within 45 days of the disaster.
“A disaster can really put a household in a pinch if they’ve lost items like their freezer or medications,” McCoy says. “Up to $5,000 can make a significant difference for a low-income family.”
There’s another state program for low income residents in the 12 counties most affected by this month’s flooding. The Iowa Disaster Case Management Program was launched last November and it helps low-income Iowans come up with a disaster recovery plan.
State officials have set aside $450,000 for these two programs for residents in Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Winneshiek, Bremer, Buchanan, Clinton, Johnson, Chickasaw, Dubuque, Floyd and Kossuth Counties.