14 Iowa Counties can apply for Unmet Needs Grants - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

14 Iowa Counties can apply for Unmet Needs Grants

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DES MOINES, Iowa - After signing disaster legislation as the first new law this year, Governor Culver announced today that Iowans in 14 counties affected by last summer's natural disasters can apply for unmet needs grants created by the legislation. These grants, included in the Rebuild Iowa Bill, provide up to $2,500 per household to help pay for losses or expenses from last year's disasters which have not yet been covered by other forms of assistance.

"While federal funding has helped Iowans affected by the floods get back on their feet, we know there are still unmet needs," said Governor Culver.  "That is why I called for in my Condition of the State Address for the Rebuild Iowa Bill, which included money for disaster-affected Iowans.  These dollars will help countless Iowans pay for losses after last year's disasters and will play an important role in moving our state farther down the road to recovery."

The $56 million Rebuild Iowa Bill included $10 million for individual disaster grants for unmet needs. The funds are allocated through the Department of Human Services, and will provide up to $2,500 for unreimbursed expenses for personal property, home repair, food assistance, mental health assistance, child care, and temporary housing incurred as a result of last year's disasters.

The grants are designed to help cover unmet needs in the 78 counties declared presidential disaster areas for Individual Assistance between May 24 and Aug. 14, 2008.

Applications for the unmet needs grants are currently being accepted by Long-Term Recovery Committees for people in Benton, Buchanan, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Dubuque, Franklin, Fremont, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Muscatine, Montgomery, Polk and Scott counties.  These 14 counties alone serve more than half of disaster-impacted Iowans in the state. The remaining 64 counties are finalizing preparations for the program and will be accepting applications in the near future.

 

The grants are available to families with household incomes up to three times the federal poverty level. For example, that would put the income eligibility limit for a family of two at about $42,000. Unmet needs grants will help low- to moderate-income households obtain items or pay the cost of a service not already paid with assistance from insurance, charity or government programs. Uses include repair or replacement of private property, home repair, mental health services, child care, temporary housing and transportation costs.

 

Applicants should apply to the Long-Term Recovery Committee that covers the county where they lived when the disaster occurred. Applicants have until June 30, 2010, to apply for any existing funds.  Applicants may call the Iowa Concerns Hotline at 1-866-849-0323 or go to the Rebuild Iowa Office Web site at www.rio.iowa.gov and click on "Disaster Recovery Case Management" icon to find their appropriate committee.

 

Workers assisting with case management services for each Long-Term Recovery Committee will review and certify each application, then send the information to the Department of Human Services, the agency overseeing the new grant program. If an item or a service has already been paid for by an applicant using his or her own money, the claim will be reimbursed by check. In the case of a need that must still be purchased, the claim will be paid directly to a specific vendor.

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