Close Search

Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program

The Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program provides eligible households with up to $2,000 towards electric, natural gas and water billif they are at risk of disconnection due to an inability to pay due to a COVID-19 related loss of income. Payments through the program will be made directly to utility providers and applied to the applicant’s account.
The application deadline is November 20, 2020.

Available Assistance

  • Utility Debt Relief

    Electric, natural gas and water utility assistance for unpaid debt on service provided between March 17, 2020 and October 31, 2020.

  • Maximum Assistance

    Not to exceed $2,000 per household.

Eligibility

  • Applicant must be an Iowa resident with an active residential utility account

  • Applicant must have an unpaid balance or have previously entered into a payment plan with their utility provider

  • Renters may apply as long as the utility account is in the applicant’s name

  • Annual income must be 80% of Median Family Income (MFI), based on county and number of household members.

  • Must have experienced a COVID-19 loss of income (job loss, reduction in hours, reduction in pay) on or after March 17, 2020.

Required Documentation

  • Your most recent electric, natural gas and/or water utility service bill, showing both your current balance and the past due amount

  • Pay stub or other appropriate documentation prior to and after loss of income

  • Basic information regarding your employer and field of employment

  • If you are on a payment plan with your utility service provider, you will need to provide a copy of your payment plan agreement or be able to provide the payment plan information from your most recent utility bill.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I do not have a computer. How can I apply for assistance?

Applications must be submitted using the online application portal. Please contact a trusted friend or family member or your local library for assistance in applying. Applications can also be by a proxy if you are not able to apply by yourself.

  • Examples of a proxy include, but are not limited to: Trusted family member, a friend or a local community action agency.

Applications submitted by email, U.S. mail, fax, or any other means will be ineligible and will not be reviewed.

2. How will payments be made?

Once an application is approved, a single, one-time payment will be issued directly to an eligible applicant’s utility provider(s). The provider(s) will deposit those funds in the applicant’s account as a credit applied towards the outstanding and current account balance.

3. Can I submit a .pdf or printed application?

No. All applications must be submitted online. Applications submitted via any other means will be disqualified.

4. How do I determine if I am eligible for the program based on my annual income?

This program is designed to assist applicants whose 2019 gross annual income was less than 80% of the Median Family Income (MFI) based on household size.  This calculation is dependent on the applicant’s county of residence. View limits here.

5. What is required for a COVID-19 related loss of income after March 17, 2020?

The application requires a self-certification of income, which will be reviewed along with supporting documentation by the application review team. Applicants must acknowledge that they are aware that it is a criminal violation under Iowa law to make a false statement in writing for the purpose of procuring assistance from a state agency.

The following documentation is required for proof of loss of income:

  • Pay stub or other income documentation prior to job loss or reduction in income
  • Pay stub or other income documentation after reduction in income dated after 3/17/2020
6. How do I know if I meet the loss of income requirement of the program?
  • Loss of income must have occurred on or after March 17, 2020
  • Loss of income cannot be voluntary (i.e. quitting employment or requesting fewer hours)
  • Loss of income means job loss or reduction in hours (including self-employment) for at least one adult household member
7. Are renters eligible to apply?

Yes.  Renters are eligible to apply if at least one of their utilities (electric, natural gas, or water utility service) is in their name.

8. My utilities are included in my rent. Can I still apply for assistance?

No. Account numbers on the application must be in the applicant’s name in order to apply for and receive assistance.

9. Can a landlord apply for utility assistance on behalf of their tenant(s) if utility bills are included in the tenant’s monthly rent?

No. Only individual renters with electric, natural gas and/or water utility service accounts in their own name are eligible to apply.

10. Do I have to tell my utility I applied for assistance?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to communicate their inability to pay any or all of their utility bill to their utility service provider as soon as they know that to be the case and to notify their utility that they have submitted a Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program application. Applicants can contact their utility at the customer service number listed on their most recent bill.

11. What documents do I need in order to apply?

You will need to prepare the following information in order to apply:

  • Your most recent electric, natural gas, and/or water utility service bill, showing both your current balance and the past due amount
  • Pay stub or other income statement before March 17, 2020 for all employed members of your household
  • Pay stub or other income statement after your income was reduced for all employed members of your household
  • Basic information regarding your field of employment
  • If you are on a payment plan with your utility service provider, you will need to provide a copy of your payment plan agreement or be able to provide the payment plan information from your most recent utility bill.
12. I recently entered into a payment plan with my utility service provider. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes.  Applicants with payment plans that only include debt between March 17 and October 31, 2020 are eligible to apply for the entire debt included on the payment plan, up to $2,000.  You will be required to upload your payment plan agreement (or a copy of your utility bill that shows the payment plan information) during the application phase.  If you do not have access to this information, please contact your utility service provider prior to submitting your application.

13. My payment plan includes debt from over a year ago. Am I eligible for assistance with this debt?

In some instances. Only debt that was incurred on or after March 17 is considered eligible debt.  If your payment plan also includes debt from the covered period, you may still apply.  However, you will be asked additional review questions and need to provide additional documentation.  Any approved assistance amount will only cover debt incurred during the covered period (between March 17 and the date of application).

14. I recently received a disconnect notice from my utility. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes. You would still be eligible to apply.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify their utility that they have applied for assistance if a disconnection is expected to occur soon.

15. I have applied for LIHEAP assistance in the past, or plan to do so this year. Am I eligible to apply for this program?

Yes. However, this program can only assist with debt that has not been covered by another federal program.  If you received assistance from LIHEAP to cover your entire debt, and apply for assistance through the Residential Utility Disruption Prevention program to cover the same debt, your utility provider will not be able to accept the funds and your application will be denied.

If you apply for assistance through LIHEAP or another federal program and the assistance you receive does not cover the entire amount of debt owed, you may be eligible to apply for assistance through this program in order to assist with the remaining debt.

16. If I apply for the Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Program, will I also receive LIHEAP moratorium protection?

No.  Approval for this program does not provide any protection from disconnection during the LIHEAP moratorium period.  Applicants must also apply for and qualify for LIHEAP in order to receive moratorium protection.  Please contact your local community action agency for more information. 

17. When can I expect my payment?

Please be patient. We are working hard to get through applications as fast as we can. The review may take several weeks.

18. I was unemployed prior to March 17 and therefore did not have a documented loss of income due to COVID-19. Can I still apply?

No.  Applicants must be able to document a loss of income due to COVID-19 in order to apply for the program. Please refer to FAQ #6 for more information. Other resources may be available to assist you with the payment of utility bills. Please call 2-1-1 or visit www.211.org for additional information.

19. The utility services for our home are in my name and I was unemployed prior to COVID-19. However, a permanent member of our household was employed and had a documented loss of income due to COVID-19. Can I still apply?

Yes.  One permanent member of your household must have been employed prior to March 17 in order to apply for assistance.  This household member does not have to be the applicant, however the employed member of your household cannot be listed on any other applications for the program. Please refer to FAQ #6 for more information.

Application

Apply Here
Stay Connected with Iowa Finance Authority’s Newsletter SIGN ME UP