County Assistance

County Assistance Application    County Cremation Application

Eligibility for County Assistance

  • Must be Indigent AND be a resident of Des Moines County for the past 30 days, or have documentation (utility bill, rent receipt, etc.) indicating that the resident is a permanent resident.
  • Present proof of military service (preferably a DD-214) showing that they served on active duty for at least 90 days (other than training) and discharged under honorable conditions. Discharges showing “Dishonorable”, “Bad conduct”, and “Under other than Honorable Conditions” will disqualify the applicant.
  • To be considered as “Indigent”, the veteran (household) must meet the 100% Federal Poverty Level. Exceptions may be made in unusual situations (house fire, robbery, shut-off notices in winter).

100% of the Federal Poverty Income Levels for 2024

# in Household Monthly Income # in Household Monthly Income
1 $1,255.00 5


2 $1,703.33 6 $3,496.67
3 $2,151.67 7 $3,945.00
4 $2,600.00 8 $4,393.33

Guidelines Used in Determining Assistance

Entire household income counts. All gross income for the household will be counted. Income can be in the form of pensions, compensation, social security, child support, SSI, interest, dividends, insurance, gambling winnings, inheritances, etc. is income. Household means all those who live in the home. Any able-bodied adult (over 18 who is not a student and not a spouse) living in the home should be paying their share of the food, rent, utilities, etc. If they are not, this office will not pay their pro-rated share for these items.

Resources Considered

Any monetary resources available to anyone within the family unit (household) shall be considered as resources to the entire household. Resources include checking/savings account, bonds, IRA’s, stocks, insurance policies, and anything that can be readily converted to cash. No assistance will be given if the amount of the resources is greater than the monthly income for the household as listed in the chart above. 

Family Benefits

Before benefits are given to a spouse and/or children of the veteran, it may be necessary to prove relationship by a marriage or birth record.

Unemployed Individuals

Unemployed healthy individuals must register with Iowa Workforce and must accept employment if available.

Food Assistance

Individuals asking for food assistance must file for food stamps before a second food order can be approved.

Other Conditions For Assistance

For assistance received, applicants may be given the opportunity to work for a non-profit organization (such as The Salvation Army or Community Action) at the rate of $15 per hour. The enforcement of this policy shall be at the discretion of the director and will affect only able-bodied recipients. Refusal or failure to work for a non-profit agency shall disqualify the applicant from receiving current and future benefits.

Establishing Eligibility For Assistance

It is the obligation of each applicant to provide proof of net worth, or evidence such as tax returns, pay slips, rent receipts, utility bills, medical bills or anything else that might bear on the applicant’s eligibility and need.

Meeting Requirements

After the eligibility requirements are met assistance may be provided for indigent vets and their families in the form of:


Food vouchers not exceeding $60 can be given to applicants for food that is not supplied by the food pantries. This is generally for food that has limited shelf life such as dairy products, meat, fresh fruit, etc.


Rental allowance shall not exceed $250 per month for an individual or more than $300 a month for a family. Rental deposits will not be paid.


Utility assistance should not exceed $300 a month for payments of current bills for any type of utility. Delinquent bills of up to $300 may be paid IF there is a threat to terminate service. Deposits will not be paid and the maximum assistance it $300.


Medical bills shall not exceed $350 per month for a single problem and no more than once on any one period of illness (such as making two monthly payments on one hospital stay).


Cremation Benefits are limited to $1,000.00 for veterans, spouses, and minor children. If the family desires a more expensive funeral, this office shall pay nothing on the cremation.


Transportation costs may be provided for the purpose of getting a veteran/spouse to the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, or for getting a veteran to a veteran’s medical facility in Iowa. Other transportation or bus tickets may be provided if so authorized by the Commission.

Long-Term Living Arrangements

If it appears that a veteran or spouse will be needing assistance with rent or living arrangements over an extended length of time, then this will be provided by assisting them in going into the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. If this is refused, the veteran or the spouse will be required to handle their own living arrangements.

Note: Any exceptions to the preceding polices may be made at the pleasure of the commission of Veterans Affairs. Each application may be handled on an individual basis, based on extenuating circumstances.

War Time Periods

War Time Dates
WWII 12/7/41 - 12/31/46
Nicaragua 1926 - 1933
China Service 1937 - 1939
Yangtze Service 1926 - 1927; 1930 - 1932
Korean 6/25/50 - 1/31/55
Vietnam 8/5/64 - 5/7/75
Lebanon / Grenada 8/24/82 - 7/31/84
Panama 12/20/89 - 1/31/90
Persian Gulf 8/2/90 - Present

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