General Policy

Legal Reference
This policy is enacted to implement Black Hawk County’s obligation under Iowa Code Chapter 252, Support of Poor and Black Hawk County Ordinance, Chapter 4 General Relief Program.

The purpose of the Black Hawk County General Assistance Office is to provide assistance to a needy or poor person who is in need of immediate assistance not obtainable from any other source, who has income or benefits delayed from a state program or not actually received because of reasons not attributable to the person, and who does not have liquid assets of the family unit from which to pay for the items of assistance that can be provided.

However, if a benefit check is still to be received for that month, this office reserves the right to decide whether or not to assist, depending on the emergency of the situation.

Types of Assistance
There are 3 categories of assistance in Black Hawk County, Iowa, they are:
  • Assistance for an extended nature
    • Assistance means food, rent, shelter, clothing, utilities, and medical attention. Assistance shall also include the burial of a person who is a resident of Black Hawk County, in an amount established by the Board of Supervisors. 
  • Assistance for poor persons
    • A poor person is a person or the family unit of that person and is domiciled in Black Hawk County, Iowa, and who, because of physical or mental disability, is unable to engage in gainful employment and otherwise cannot make a living. This will be established by a statement from a physician or psychiatric counselor, every three months. The person will have to also bring in verification that they have applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Emergency assistance for needy persons
    • A needy person is a person or family unit of that person that is domiciled in Black Hawk County, Iowa, or who is a transient of the county for less than three days or who, because of circumstances which are not attributable to that person, needs immediate assistance.
In all cases, applicants shall be informed of their liability to reimburse to Black Hawk County all assistance granted to them when and if it becomes possible. Examples of when reimbursement shall be required include: when a client who has received assistance receives lump sum payment from a Federal or State Assistance Program, secures employment, receives an inheritance, insurance benefits, or lump sum legal settlement.