General Assistance Program
General Assistance provides temporary assistance with basic and special needs to eligible Polk County residents. Individuals and families who are at risk due to a temporary crisis and/or a mental or physical incapacity and who meet income guidelines may be assisted.
What Services Can You Benefit From?
The General Assistance office provides the following services:
Services for Basic Needs
Services for Special Needs
|Property Tax Assistance
Are You Eligible?
We assess an applicant’s eligibility mainly based on:
- Polk County residency
- Income guidelines
- Applicant’s circumstances
If you are a veteran please contact Veteran Affairs @ 515.286.3670.
How Do You Apply?
To apply for assistance fill out an application and bring it to the General Assistance office or to find out more about our services call us at 286-2088 or visit us, and a social worker will determine your eligibility and/or help you seek additional resources.
The first step in any application is to present a valid picture I.D., social security card and verification of all household income and expenses in the last 30 days.
- Landlord statement properly completed
|For Utilities Assistance
- Disconnect notice
- 12-month billing and payment history from utility company
|For Other Services
- Statement of cost from vendor of needed service/items
- Agreement from vendor to accept payment voucher
If you would like to apply for assistance over the phone please complete an application and then contact Sally at (515) 286-2133 or Sally.Forrester@polkcountyiowa.gov. In most instances, a phone interview will take 15-20 minutes to complete.
To apply for financial assistance for a funeral, bring a completed application to our office or call 286-2088 for further information.
For information on property tax assistance programs call 286-3133.
How to Contact Us
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50310
Telephone: (515) 286-2088
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM
After Hours Assistance
If all of the family shelters are full, General Assistance will provide a one night stay in a motel to families with minor children. Please contact United Way by calling 2-1-1.
The family must go to Primary Helath Care, 1200 University Avenue, Suite 120, Des Moines (phone: 515-248-1500) the following day to see what other services they may be eligible for.
For forms frequently used by General Assistance visit the forms page.