The ordinance is passed by virtue of the authority established under the Iowa Code, including chapters 251 and 252, also including the County Home Rule Amendment to the
The Code of Iowa outlines the legal basis for the General Assistance Program in counties. This section deals basically with Chapter 251 and 252 of the Code. The General Assistance Program is administered by the Director of General Assistance and that person reports to the Board of Supervisors.
WHEREAS, the Keokuk County General
Assistance Director has been directed to submit regulations to the Keokuk
County Board of Supervisors for approval concerning provisions of assistance
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors of each county shall provide for the assistance of poor persons in its county who are ineligible for, or are in immediate need and are awaiting approval and receipt of, assistance under programs provided by state or federal law, or who actual needs cannot be fully met by the assistance furnished under such programs.
WHEREAS, it is necessary to set forth by this regulation the level of assistance to be provided and eligibility requirements for assistance programs of Keokuk County, Iowa, under authority of the Board of Supervisors of Keokuk County.
SECTION 1. CATEGORIES
There shall be two (2) categories of general assistance
A. Assistance for needy persons;
B. Assistance for poor persons;
SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS
For use in this ordinance, certain terms or words used herein shall be interpreted or defined as follows:
“Needy Person” is a person or the family unit of that person who is
“lawfully” living and residing within
* Examples of circumstances not attributable to that person: layoff or medical problems.
* Examples of circumstances attributable to that person: voluntary quit, failure to keep
scheduled appointment for State or Federal Programs, pursuing an education.
B. A “poor person” is a person or family unit who has no property, exempt or otherwise
and are unable, because of physical or mental disabilities, to earn a living by labor and who are “lawfully” within the county.
C. “Assistance” means food, rent, shelter, clothing, transportation, utilities (fuel-lights-
water), medical services or burial.
D. “Net Worth” includes income or moneys from any sources, money due, savings and
other deposits, public assistance or entitlement benefits, stocks, bonds, jewelry, and the
value of all other real and personal property. The following property shall be exempt
from consideration: household furniture, tools and equipment used for self-support,
vehicles for family unit shall not exceed $5,000.00, burial irrevocable trust funds not
to exceed $6,000.00, homestead used as a place of residence if equity does not exceed
E. “Family Unit” or “Household” means the individual applying for assistance and
all members of his or her immediate family: include spouse, children under 18 years
of age, all occupants and children over 18 years of age who are dependent and/or
non-dependent upon the applicant. The exception of this policy is an emancipated
person due to marriage. All minor children under 18 years of age must receive their
assistance from their parents, unless they can provide a marriage license to determine
them to be adults.
F. “Liquid Assets” means can or any other item of net work of the family unit that
can be readily converted to cash within seven (7) days.
G. “Awaiting approval and receipt” means a poor person who has applied for assistance
under the state or federal law; who has pursued that application with due diligence;
and who has not had that application denied.
H. “Director” means the Director of General Assistance, or her designee, appointed by
Keokuk County Board of Supervisors to administer the county’s General Assistance Program.
of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment.
SECTION 3. FORM
The assistance shall be purchased directly from the supplier for the applicant or the family unit on a vendor system.
SECTION 4. ELIGIBILITY OF NEEDY PERSONS
Assistance is to be provided for needy persons who are in need of immediate assistance and who are eligible for, and are awaiting approval of, and receipt of, assistance under programs provided by state or federal law, or whose actual needs, as defined within the limitations imposed by this ordinance, cannot be fully met by the assistance furnished under such programs. Applicant and his or her household must satisfy the three requirements of:
1. Determining that liabilities exceed assets.
2. Determining that gross monthly income does not exceed the current 100% of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines based upon household size.
3. Determining the ability to pay monthly bills as they become due.
For purposes of making this determination, net worth must first be determined, and then if having a negative net worth (liabilities exceeding assets), continue to determine that the applicants gross monthly income does not exceed the current 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines based upon household size. If meeting the above guidelines, the ability to pay bills for basic necessities as they fall due, excluding unnecessities and excessive or exorbitant or otherwise inflated expenditures, will be determined. Basic necessities bills are shelter, water, heat, gas, electricity, food, medical expenditures, and one automobile not exceeding a monthly payment amount of $200.00 will be allowed plus the cost of insurance. All income will be counted including food stamps, FIP, SS, etc., during this determination.
The Federal Poverty Guidelines are subject to change; therefore, a copy of the current guidelines can be obtained from the Keokuk County General Assistance Director.
For State Paper eligibility, applicant must satisfy the dual requirements of determining that liabilities exceed assets (negative net worth) and meeting 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for gross monthly income based upon household size.
SECTION 5. ELIGIBILITY OF POOR PERSONS
Assistance is to be provided for poor persons who are in need of immediate assistance, who are “lawfully” within the county, cannot obtain assistance from any other sources, whose family unit’s net worth is less than $500, and who are eligible for, and are awaiting approval, and receipt of assistance under programs provided by state or federal law, or whose actual needs, as defined within the limitations imposed by this ordinance, cannot be fully met by the assistance furnished under such programs.
SECTION 6. LEVEL OF BENEFITS
The maximum level of benefits to be provided for each item of assistance for each person or that person’s family unit shall be:
1. Referrals will be made to the Lord’s Pantry.
1. Benefit limits are the reasonable rental value not to exceed $150.00.
2. Rent will only be paid to the landlord. Payments will not be paid to a sub-
renter or relative. Rent will not be paid in advance. House payments will not
be paid as it creates an estate.
3. Deposits will not be paid for rent, gas, water or electricity.
4. Shelter such as hotel/motel may be provided for poor persons with a value not to exceed $150
1. Assistance with utility costs shall be provided only in the amount of the actual cost for current usage, which allows continuance of service and not service provided for prior months. Assistance under this category does not include deposits, taxes or penalties. The amount shall not exceed $200.
2. Heat, lights and water are the only utilities that will be considered.
3. Failure to pay on utilities during moratorium will result in denial of assistance.
D. Medical Services
1. Assistance will be given for prescriptions, and also for some medical needs
that require no prescription, such as insulin and needles.
2. Dental assistance for immediate need and to relieve severe pain.
3. Eye glasses may be authorized one time only. Client must pay for exam
and one-half cost of glasses.
E. Hospital Services
1. No hospital services will be provided to a needy person if any of the
a. The person was offered enrollment in his/her employer’s medical
insurance program and voluntarily declined said enrollment unless
client can show good cause.
b. The occurrence for which medical services are claimed would have
occurred within the coverage period of the employer’s medical services
insurance program, had the person enrolled which offered, and continued
enrollment as long as eligible.
c. General assistance cannot assist on Medicare deduction except for poor
persons 65 years old or older, under 18 years of age, or disabled.
2. Prior authorization will be required for medical services, if possible. For
medical expenses the usage of State Papers shall be explored before medical
payment is authorized within the community. All obstetrical care will be pro-
vided at the University of Iowa Hospitals.
3. When prior authorization was not possible, the office must be notified within
the next working day by client or representative. A telephone call will be
acceptable as notification.
4. The county reserves the right to set a maximum liability for itself in hospital
bills and doctor fees. The maximum allowed to a hospital or doctor is $450.00,
unless otherwise approved by the Board of Supervisors.
5. No out of state or out of county medical costs will be approved if needed
services could have been provided locally or at the University of Iowa Hospital.
Medical payments will be made for services and goods to local hospital,
physicians, and health care provisions for reasonable value of medical care
6. Indigent persons in need of medical help must apply for medically needy
and denial must be received for assistance to be considered.
7. For State Papers the patient must be medically indigent and condition should
be of a nature as to require prolonged hospital care, extensive surgery or medical
treatment. In no instance will State Papers be approved without the recommenda-
tion of a physician nor will State Papers be approved for routine check-up or
diagnosis. When State Papers are approved they are effective for the entire
fiscal year, regardless of the number of admissions to the University Hospitals.
1. The Director may provide clothing actually needed. The clothing shall
be provided to the extent available from the Clothes Closet.
1. Assistance with transportation expenses as needed to obtain medical
treatment can be provided upon approval of the Director. Confirmation of
appointments are necessary before approval is granted.
a. Transportation will be paid on an as-needed basis with a maximum
limit of $20.00.
H. Funeral Services shall be allowed as contained in the Keokuk County Indigent
Burial Contract on file with the Keokuk County Board of Supervisors.
I. Drug and alcohol treatment will not be covered.
SECTION 7. REQUIREMENTS FOR RECEIVING ASSISTANCE
A. A poor person
applying for assistance must be “lawfully” within
B. No needy person shall receive more than one (1) months assistance in a fiscal year up
to $450.00 unless approved by the Director and/or Board of Supervisors. The Keokuk
to go beyond the normal scope of this ordinance. Assistance may be needed above
normal limits or frequency. In order for this to occur the client cannot be the cause
of the extended need.
C. The applicant shall seek assistance for their needs from all other available resources before assistance will be considered. Vendor refusal of other funding source(s) will not therefore obligate the county to provide funding assistance. Any person who is eligible for state or federal assistance programs such as FIP, SSI, State or Federal Medical Programs, SSA, VA, SS, Workman’s Compensations, etc., shall be referred to the proper source and shall make application and accept assistance offered. Persons applying for assistance must with due diligence fully participate in and/or fully complete all mentioned state or federal programs listed above providing assistance. Failure to do so may result in denial of assistance.
D. An applicant with a voluntary job quit or a job termination that is attributable to the applicant such as poor attendance, poor work performance, inappropriate work-place behavior and/or actions, etc. shall be disqualified for a period of ninety (90) days. Applicant must register with Job Service and must make bona fide job searches with proper verification and dates. Laid off workers must also apply for unemployment benefits. If employable, must accept work or retraining assignment as requested. Workers must have worked all reasonable hours offered by employer. No attempts to control income level will be allowed.
E. applicant must complete application and establish his or her need for assistance.
F. the person applying shall provide the Director, upon request, a verified statement
of net work, federal and state income tax returns, medical reports, medical
authorizations, and information requested by the Director that bears upon the person’s
eligibility and need for assistance.
G. A false statement or incorrect statement on an application for assistance may be cause
for denial of benefits.
All applicants shall reimburse
fails to repay the value of the benefits received, as agreed, he or she shall be disqualified
from receiving future benefits. The Board of Supervisors may, upon application and
good cause, waive the repayment of all or some of the benefits.
I. Failure to satisfactorily complete drug and alcohol treatment programs or do follow-
up programs may be basis for denial.
J. Any asset transferred without adequate consideration within thirty months of the
date of application shall be deemed to be part of the assets of the applicant or house-
hold member. Transfers include sales, gifts, mortgages or loans, and conveyances.
K. Applicant will also be required to sign a release and exchange of information
form which will allow the Director to act in the client’s best interest.
SECTION 8. ASSISTANCE OF AN EXTENDED NATURE
It is contemplated that items of assistance to be provided to needy persons or their family unit, and should not, during any one consecutive period of time, exceed thirty (30) days.
SECTION 9. APPLICATION FOR ASSISTANCE
Applications for assistance shall be submitted by
needy and poor persons to the Director at the Keokuk County Courthouse in
If the applicant or the family unit is or appears to be eligible for assistance or assistance from any other federal, state or local source, the Director shall immediately refer the applicant to that source. It shall be the obligation of the applicant to immediately make application to that source and pursue such application with due diligence as a condition to be eligible for further assistance under this ordinance.
It is the obligation of each person applying to establish his or her eligibility for any category of assistance and need for any item of assistance. The Director shall also receive anything that the person applying desires to submit to establish his or her eligibility or need to include statements or letters, medical reports, and other written documents as well as the verbal statements of the applicant. The Director shall then proceed to conduct an investigation concerning the applicant’s eligibility and needs. The applicant’s file and the investigation and findings of the Director shall be made available to the applicant, upon request, or to the applicant’s attorney by written authorization.
SECTION 10. INITIAL DETERMINATION
A. The Director shall make an initial determination of the eligibility and needs of the
applicant within five (5) working days of the receipt of the signed, completed
B. If the Director cannot make initial determination within five (5) working days,
the Director shall immediately inform the applicant by telephone, if possible, of the
reasons why such determinations cannot be made. The Director shall, also, mail the
applicant by ordinary mail within five (50 working days, thereafter, the Director’s
written decision showing the reason why such determination could not be made.
SECTION 11. APPEAL
A. Every applicant, whether granted assistance or not, shall be informed in the Director’s
written decision of the applicant’s right to appeal. The applicant shall be informed
(1) of the method by which an appeal may be taken, and (2) that he or she may repre-
sent him or herself, or may be represented by an attorney.
B. Any written appeal or communication to the Director by or on behalf of an
applicant requesting appeal of the Director’s determination, shall be taken by the
Director and put immediately upon the Board of Supervisor’s agenda, in accordance
with Chapter 21, Code of Iowa, for the next regular board meeting, provided that such
appeal shall not be heard sooner than five (5) days after appeal is taken. The written
appeal or communication must be made to the Director within ten (10) days of the
Director’s determination, provide applicants current address and telephone number,
and state the reasons for the appeal. The applicant shall be informed immediately,
by telephone, and by ordinary mail, of the date and time of hearing before the Board.
Applicant and his or her attorney, upon written authorization, shall be granted access
by the Director of his or her assistance case file if assistance case file if request is made.
SECTION 12. APPEAL HEARING
A. The Board of Supervisors shall hear applicant’s appeal de novo at the time
schedule in the agenda, unless continuance is requested by applicant. The parties
shall be permitted to present whatever evidence desired regarding the appeal
including testifying, having other witnesses testify, offering documentary evidence,
and reasonable cross examination of other witnesses, if present. The technical
rules of evidence shall not apply. The Board may set reasonable times for the present
action of the parties at any appeal. The applicant’s file shall be admitted into
evidence. The Board may question the applicant, and the Director shall present the
Board with the reasons for the determination. The appeal will be tape recorded. The
hearing before the board will not be an open meeting under Chapter 21, Code of Iowa,
since the confidential files of the applicant will be in evidence. When the Board
deliberates the appeal, no parties shall be present.
B. the Board shall make a decision on the appeal within five (5) working days. The
Board’s decision shall be only on the basis of the evidence submitted before the Board.
The applicant shall be informed immediately by telephone the decision and within
five (5) working days thereafter, the Board shall mail to the applicant at his or her
last known address, by ordinary mail, its decision in writing. The decision shall state the
reasons for the action, together with any statute or ordinance applied. The Board’s
decision shall also state that an appeal may be taken from the Board’s determination
as provided below, and the method by which such appeal may be taken.
C. Any appeal to the District Court shall be allowed by the applicant from the
Board’s decision within the time, and by the manner and procedures established
SECTION 13. ACTIONS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
In the event the Board of Supervisors, in reviewing the claims submitted by the Director, denies any allowance of assistance benefits allowed by the Director, then the Director shall deny benefits to the applicant. The Director shall notify the applicant of the decision and the appeal process.
SECTION 14. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS
RECOVERY AND REIMBURSEMENT
1. All recipients of Assistance of Keokuk County
to the extent possible for the cost of benefits extended to them, except where
such requirement would
cause undue hardship. The Keokuk
of Supervisors and Keokuk County Director may make suitable prearrangements
for securing repayment from assets, which cannot be immediately disposed
of in the event that the failure or inability to dispose of these assets would
otherwise make the recipient eligible for aid.
SECTION 15. REPEALER
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this ordinance are hereby repealed.
SECTION 16. SEVERABILITY CLAUSE
If any section, provision, or part of this ordinance shall be judged invalid or unconstitutional, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of the ordinance as a whole or any section, provision or part thereof not judged invalid or unconstitutional.
It shall be up to the discretion of the Board of Supervisors to limit or make changes for
the assistance provided as stated in these regulations. Any change or limit henceforth will be published in the local newspaper and posted in the courthouse for proper length of time and an addendum attached to these regulations.