The Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program provides eligible households with up to $2,000 towards electric, natural gas and water bills if 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.
Electric, natural gas and water utility assistance for unpaid debt on service provided between March 17, 2020 and October 31, 2020.
Not to exceed $2,000 per household.
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.
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.
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.
Applications submitted by email, U.S. mail, fax, or any other means will be ineligible and will not be reviewed.
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.
No. All applications must be submitted online. Applications submitted via any other means will be disqualified.
This program is designed to assist applicants whose gross annual income is 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.
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:
Yes. Renters are eligible to apply if at least one of their utilities (electric, natural gas, or water utility service) is in their name.
No. Account numbers on the application must be in the applicant’s name in order to apply for and receive assistance.
No. Only individual renters with electric, natural gas and/or water utility service accounts in their own name are eligible to apply.
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.
You will need to prepare the following information in order 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.
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).
You are still eligible to apply for assistance. Please complete the application and then let your utility know you have applied. IEDA is providing updates to utilities, but receipt and review of those emails cannot be guaranteed. When necessary, IEDA can also provide confirmation to utilities that an applicant has a pending application. Please keep in mind that an application for assistance is not a guarantee your service will not be disconnected, as each utility will make its own decision on how they factor in pending applications to a potential disconnection. IEDA also highly recommends contacting your local community action agency regarding your eligibility for LIHEAP and any additional assistance they might be able to provide. LIHEAP provides eligible applicants with certain protections from disconnection. Please visit https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply to find your local community action agency.
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.
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.
Please be patient. We are working hard to get through applications as fast as we can. The review may take several weeks.
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.
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.