To be eligible for assistance the applicant must be a resident of Black Hawk County and a Citizen of the United States. When non-residents request assistance; the County of their residency will be contacted regarding the assistance.

Each application shall be considered on the basis of the need, reason for need, and inability to provide or secure basic necessities of life without assistance. An eligible resident may be assisted one time a month. Assistance will be granted a maximum of 3 times for applicants who have income during 1 fiscal year. An applicant with no income must provide a doctor’s excuse every 3 months and verification that Social Security is pending to be assisted over the 3 times.

Residents who apply for assistance and are receiving subsidized housing are ineligible for County assistance, unless monthly housing and utility expense exceeds 50% of the household monthly income.

All applicants for assistance who state they have zero income must be receiving or applying for food stamps. He/she must also be registered for employment with Job Service of Iowa. A client, who refuses to work, or to actively seek employment, will forfeit his/her right to assistance. All applicants who have been denied assistance by the Department of Human Services, for non-compliance of their programs, will also be ineligible for County assistance.


Eligible veterans are any honorably discharged Veteran, with at least 6 months of service, and their eligible family members will be ineligible for Black Hawk County General Assistance funds and will need to receive assistance through the Veteran Affair’s Office:
1407 Independence Avenue
Waterloo, IA 50703
Phone: 319-291-2512

A DD214 to verify dates and discharge eligibility is required. If an honorably discharged Veteran is suspended from receiving their services because of non-compliance, they will be denied assistance of Black Hawk County General Assistance funds.

Black Hawk County Employees

The Black Hawk County General Assistance Office will assist Black Hawk County employees if they are found eligible according to the guidelines presently being used with families and individual persons applying for assistance.

Director’s Exception

The General Assistance Director may issue an exception to policy to exceed the established award allowances or eligibility criteria if upon review it is consistent with Black Hawk County’s mission to protect the health and safety of Black Hawk County residents.