116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — The application period for Johnson County’s direct assistance program has been extended to Friday, the county announced.
The program was slated to stop taking applications as of noon Monday. Now, eligible residents will have until 2 p.m. on Friday to get their applications submitted.
The county will hold another application assistance clinic from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday in Room 203 B/C of the Health and Human Services Building, 855 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City.
The $3.5 million direct assistance program funded by American Rescue Plan Act dollars is intended to help low-income county residents negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including those previously excluded from pandemic relief payments.
Eligible residents who are selected will receive a one-time $1,400 check mailed to them.
Immigrant workers — including members of Escucha Mi Voz and the Iowa City Catholic Worker House — have been advocating for excluded workers to get priority in direct assistance payments because they have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic. They worry the lottery system will exclude them once again.
The two groups have helped 600 immigrant and refugee workers apply.
The main eligibility qualifier for the county’s program will be having an income that is 65 percent or more below the area median income — less than $45,370 a year for an individual. Once income is established, additional eligibility markers can include food or housing insecurity, unemployment or exclusion from previous federal stimulus payments.
To be eligible for the payment, individuals must be 18 or older and have lived in Johnson County since March 1, 2020.
Information about the program and application can be found online at johnsoncountyiowa.gov/direct-assistance-program.
The website includes application steps, eligibility criteria, accepted documentation and the selection process. The county recommends residents have their required documentation ready before beginning to fill out the application.
Approved applicants will receive a check in the mail. The county expects it to take six to eight weeks after the application period closes for applications to be reviewed and processed.
Individuals who need the application translated in an additional language or have questions can email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
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