Utility Assistance

Utility assistance is available for qualifying households that generally have enough income month to month to remain in their home but which have experienced a temporary financial disruption, or hardship, for which they need one-time assistance. 

Applicants meeting the definition of "Persons Unavailable for Employment" may also qualify for assistance

The amount of assistance may not cover a full month of utilities, so in order to qualify most applicants will need to show they can pay the remaining amount of their due utilities and that it would prevent disconnect 

Utility Moratorium - applicants that had utility payments suspended during the winter moratorium must have made good faith effort to keep up with bills that accrued during that time, by paying at least three months between November and March.  As an alternative, applicants can demonstrate they have paid 60% of their bills over the prior twelve months

Applicants can only receive assistance for utility bills that are in their name, and they must reside at the address for which assistance is requested.  


  • Polk County Residency 
  • Valid photo identification
  • Social security card 
  • Verification of all household income and expenses from the last 30 days
  • Eligibility requires applicants to provide evidence there is income going back at least 30 days, and continuing, and that their current rent is affordable in future months
  • If eligible, General Assistance will provide assistance based on family size

To apply for assistance, fill out an online application or a paper application and bring it to the General Assistance office.  You can also apply by phone by calling (515) 286-2088 or by sending an e-mail to . In most cases, an interview will take 15-20 minutes to complete.