Many people are experiencing a lot of difficulties right now. We have COVID-19 to navigate and now, many are trying to recover after the Derecho. I have had numerous calls from Veterans whose homes were greatly affected by the storm.

I wanted to devote this month’s editorial to the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund. This is a

fund that Veteran’s apply to and can possibly receive monetary assistance. Per Trust Fund guidelines the Veteran or Veteran’s Spouse, “must have a household income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and less than $15,000 in liquid assets. Further asset guidelines may apply and are identified within the applicable option.”

The Trust Fund is funded by the Iowa Lottery. When they mention on the lottery commercials that some of the money goes to Iowa Veterans it is referencing the Trust Fund. The Trust Fund can help with a variety of needs. The main ones I have used it for are housing and vehicle repairs. Below is a description of what each category can assist with:

Housing Repair: Housing repair is limited to repairs that are required to improve the conditions and integrity of the home and are necessary for the safety and security of the residents. In situations where a home is damaged beyond repair, assistance under this subrule is available to assist the applicant in purchasing a new home. You must provide pictures of needed repairs, and at least two (2) estimates that state the rationale for the repairs (i.e., that they are needed for personal safety and/or security purposes). Contractors must be registered with the State of Iowa.

Transitional Housing: Assistance for transitional housing may be provided to applicants who are displaced from their homes during a period of repairs related to a disaster, vandalism, home accident, or other reason that make staying the homes hazardous to the health of the residents. Any refunded security deposits paid for under this subrule shall be returned to the Iowa veterans trust fund.

Vehicle Repair: Assistance for vehicle repair is limited to expenses that are required for continued use of the vehicle. This assistance will only be granted in cases where the vehicle is needed for travel to and from work-related activities, the applicant is over the age of 65, or substantial hardship will occur if the vehicle is not repaired. You must provide pictures of needed repairs, and at least two (2) estimates that state the rationale for the repairs (i.e., that they are needed for personal safety and/or security purposes). All repairs must be done by an ASE certified mechanic. Approved amount will not exceed the value of the vehicle.

If you are a Veteran whose home was damaged by the Derecho please give me a call at 319.472.3150 to get the application started for the Trust Fund.

My office is now open for appointments only. For safety, we will try and resolve most issues over the phone, please call me with any Veteran related questions you may have.