Grants for Seniors in Iowa

Key Senior Statistics in Iowa (60 and over)
Senior Population: 802,930 (25.1%) Senior Population: 802,930 (25.1%)
Male: 46.9% Male: 46.9%
Female: 53.1% Female: 53.1%
Median Age: 70 Median Age: 70
Disability: 26% Disability: 26%
With Social Security Income: 76% With Social Security Income: 76%
With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 7% With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 7%
Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 9% Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 9%
Data Source: Data Source:
Data is taken from American Community Survey 2022.

Help for Seniors in Iowa – 25 Assistance Programs

Iowa is one of the senior-friendly and safest states particularly with its lower cost of living compared to others. It hosts various social and cultural events throughout the state. It is also tax-friendly for the elderly. Even though it provides affordable rents and housing for residents, some seniors may need other services. There is a broad range of programs and benefits for them which are presented by the federal government, state departments, and local establishments.

State Resources for Seniors

The Iowa Department on Aging is the state’s most valuable resource for older residents of Iowa. Information is provided, with links to various places and organizations where help can be gotten from. Apart from external links, the Department also has some internal programs that are geared towards easing the living conditions of seniors in the state. Seniors can visit to utilize the various senior-specific details available.

Financial Assistance

Seniors aged 65 and older may qualify to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Services Administration. The SSI program provides financial support for elderly persons who are facing challenges with paying for their needs. Monthly monetary payments are made to help seniors pay for things like food, shelter and clothing. Eligibility for the program is determined by the income and asset value of the applicant. Usually, seniors must have assets with a combined value of less than $2,000 to qualify for assistance. Essential assets like a home are not often counted in this valuation process. For more details on SSI, visit

Seniors whose needs are not met by the SSI can apply for Iowa’s State Supplementary Assistance (SSA) as well. This is a program established to provide additional financial assistance to seniors in the state. The Iowa State Supplementary Assistance was formed by the Department of Human Services to assist cash assistance for elderly and disabled residents. This service covers family life home assistance, dependent person grant, healthcare service at home, residential care units, and supplements for the ones who have already been receiving Medicare and Medicaid. Older residents of Iowa who have properties worth a maximum of $2,000 or less are qualified for this assistance. To learn more, go to or dial 1 877 347 5678.

Iowa Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Program has been funded by the State of Iowa helps with financial issues for low and moderate-income older residents. This program presents seven Home and Community Based Services Waivers in Iowa. These waivers are as follows; Health and Disability Waiver, AIDS/HIV Waiver, Elderly Waiver, Intellectual Disability Waiver, Brain Injury Waiver, Physical Disability Waiver, and Children’s Mental Health Waiver. The main purpose of the Elderly Waiver Program is to make sure that seniors can live at their own homes independently without needing to live in a nursing home. People who are residents of Iowa and 65 years of age or above are eligible for this program. Apart from financial support, this program helps with adult day care, emergency response systems, home-delivered food, housekeeping, nursing care, transportation services, and more. For further information, follow the link or by phone at 1 800 338 8366.

Housing and Rent Assistance

Assisted Living Facilities in Iowa are managed by the state authorities for low-income residents. Seniors who are looking for housing assistance with healthcare services may consider applying for these facilities. Find out more at

Elder Group Homes are designed specifically for seniors by the state authorities. These are single-family units run by a caregiver who deals with the housing needs of three to five older people who are not associated with each other. Seniors who need housing support and friendship may appeal to these homes. For more information, please visit

The Section 8-Housing Choice Voucher Program Iowa was created by the federal government to provide rent support for low and moderate-income households. Seniors are one of the priority groups for this benefit. Eligible candidates can get to choose their house, apartment, or flat in their favor. The accepted candidates are paid up to 70 percent of their rent based on their financial condition. Seniors in need of rent assistance can find more information at

In the areas of Iowa with low population (below 50,000 people), seniors can apply for the Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the state of Iowa’s Housing Sustainability Fund. The program provides grants of up to $38,500 for each single-family housing unit. The funds can be used to remove physical architectural barriers to allow easier accessibility for seniors who reside in the home. Modifications may also be made to improve energy efficiency of the home and reduce future energy bills. The program is open to those with income less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) who are at least 60 years old. For more information, visit

Elderly residents of North Iowa have two major programs that can help them with resources for home repairs. The Regional Emergency Project provides urgent financial assistance of up to $2,000 to seniors who need to make emergency repairs to their homes or make accessibility modifications. Residents over the age of 62 can apply for this program and get help with their home repairs. Seniors can get the application form from The Regional Home Repair Program on the other hand provides up to $25,000 to cover various housing repairs and rehabilitation. Aid is available for things like door/window replacement, electrical repairs, plumbing, etc. An application form can be downloaded at Further eligibility requirements and income/asset restrictions for both programs can be found at

Seniors in Iowa city can also apply for home rehabilitation assistance to receive funds for home repairs. Depending on the type of repairs, funds of up to $24,999 may be available, helping pay for things like roofs, flooring, driveway widening, painting, foundation repair, handicapped toilets, etc. More details on the types of assistance provided are available at

Healthcare Assistance

Home Health Agencies were created and led by the State of Iowa for patients who are taken care of at home. Older people with a disease or disability are eligible for this service. These agencies provide nursing services for accepted applicants. Besides, it offers physical, speech, or occupational therapy based on the applicant’s health condition. To learn more, go to

The Iowa Department on Aging is a special branch that was created by the State of Iowa for the needs of the elderly. This department offers very comprehensive programs and services for seniors. Although the department provides senior employment, elder justice, and adult protective services, its main goal is to ensure that seniors are healthy and comfortable. Hence the priority is health assistance for seniors. Adult people who have any health issues may consult this department. It also offers to help with nursing care at home in case of emergency. Explore more opportunities via the following link or dial 866 468 2887.

The Medicare Program is a special medical assistance program set up to help low-income senior citizens from the age of 65 years. Various healthcare plans are available which cover different levels of medical care and treatment. Medicare recipients usually get referred to a network of doctors affiliated with the program, from where they can get treatment at low cost while the program covers the rest of the medical bills. Medicare can also be used to pay for prescription drugs and several surgical procedures. While coverage begins from the age of 65, seniors can begin the application process 3 months before turning 65. To get started with Medicare, visit

His Hands Free Clinic is a faith-based charity clinic that offers free medical services in the Cedar Rapids area. Licensed medical professionals volunteer to provide these services and help serve uninsured and underinsured seniors in the area. Seniors can access services like dental care, chiropractic care, physical therapy, etc. at no cost when they visit the clinic. Seniors can book an appointment with the clinic by calling 319-862-2636. In case of immediate care is needed, a visit can still be made without an appointment pre-booked.

Help with Dental Care

Neglecting oral health can have a significant impact on overall health, irrespective of one’s financial constraints or income level. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize dental health every day. Dental Grants in Iowa provides additional information on grants for dental care that may be of interest to senior citizens seeking such information.

The I-Smile Silver program helps older Iowans get access to dental care by providing affordable dental care to financially challenged seniors. Oral healthcare services are offered in partnership with various organizations in the state to help reduce complications related to poor oral health. Preventive dental services are provided and seniors are put in touch with a network of dental offices for continued affordable care. Further information on the I-Smile Silver program can be found at

Seniors may also seek assistance from the Dental Lifeline Network of Iowa. The network runs a program know as Donated Dental Services which provides free or low-cost dental treatment to seniors over the age of 65. Treatment is usually free but those who can afford it may be requested to pay a little fee. The services are made possible by a network of volunteer dentists who offer their services to care for seniors who do not have insurance or cannot afford the necessary dental care that they need. For more details on the program in Iowa, visit, applications are open for submission at

Utility Bills Assistance

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps qualified seniors pay part of their household heating costs. This is done as a one-time payment to the vendor, regardless of the fuel type. Alongside LIHEAP is the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) which makes home more energy efficient, reducing heat loss and thereby reducing the amount of money spent on heating the home. Permanent cost effective insulation is installed and prevents energy loss from the home. Together, LIHEAP and WAP help senior by offsetting some of the burdens associated with paying energy bills. More information on these programs in Iowa can be found at

Crisis Assistance is also available to take care of urgent situations. Usually, this is when the resident has been disconnected or served with a disconnection notice. Through Crisis Assistance, seniors can receive aid to pay for gas, water, sewer, and electricity bills. Funds are paid directly to the vendor and often range from $200 to $500 and more, depending on several factors. More details on this can be sought at

Seniors with income below 80% of the Area Median Income may qualify for assistance with their utility bills, provided by the Iowa Finance Authority. Funds are provided to help pay for arrears on rent, gas, electricity, water, propane, sewer, etc. charges as required. Eligible seniors can apply for rent assistance alone, utility assistance alone, or a combination of both. Further information is available at

The Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program was established by the Iowa Finance Authority to help with electric, water, and natural gas bills of low and moderate-income families. Seniors seeking utility support may have up to $2,000 grants to pay their bills. Further information can be accessed by clicking on the following link or contact 877 463 3269.

Iowa Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) are sponsored by the federal government to provide discounts on utility bills and energy efficiency at home. While LIHEAP offers a discount that depends on the total household income, WAP settles new equipment for energy efficiency. Find out more at or call toll-free 877 565 4450.

Nishnabotna Valley REC is a local electricity company that assists discounts on utility bills for low and moderate-income residents throughout the state. Seniors can receive monthly discounts based on their financial condition. See more information at or get in touch with 712 755 2166.

Food Assistance

Meals on Wheels is a food assistance program that helps homebound seniors get access to healthy food. Food items are sent out for distribution to the homes of eligible senior citizens who reside in the state. To further help these older beneficiaries, the food is delivered hot and ready to eat. Each food menu is designed by registered dieticians and a chef to ensure optimum nutritional value is delivered via a healthy meal. Meal deliveries are done during the week, however, to assist seniors, frozen items are delivered on Fridays. These can then be thawed and warmed up for consumption. For more details on Meals on Wheels in Iowa, visit

Congregate Meals is another food assistance arrangement that caters to the needs of seniors. Specific sites are set up for seniors to come in and get free food. Services are usually provided to seniors over the age of 60. Apart from the food, nutritional education is provided, and seniors get an opportunity to socialize with others. Similar to the Meals on Wheels program, the meals are planned by dieticians to ensure optimum nutritional value. A directory of various facilities that offer congregate meal service can be found at

Senior can also apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and receive monthly benefits. SNAP is a program that helps low-income residents obtain healthy food items. This is done by issuing an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to eligible seniors, which works like a regular debit card. Every month, funds are loaded onto the card to be used for the purchase of food items. The funds can only be used to purchase approved items from grocery stores. Seniors can find application information at

The Commodity Supplemental Foods Program (CSFP) helps seniors by providing supplemental food items to them. Foods like canned fruits, vegetables, beans, cereal, powdered milk, etc. are provided to supplement the diets of elderly residents. These items are not meant as a sole food source, but rather to help meet up with nutritional needs. Seniors can apply online at

The Iowa Senior Hunger Partnership Program was designed to help older residents who are not able to cook for themselves. This program assists hot and cold meals and home-delivered food for seniors. For more information, please visit or make a phone call at 1 800 735 2942.

Iowa Congregate Meal Program aims to support seniors with healthy and nutritious food. People who are at 60 years of age or older are qualified for this food assistance program. It also encourages participants to make new friends through this benefit. Read more at

The Salvation Army is a well-known charity organization that fights against hunger in Iowa. Low and moderate-income residents can have daily hot meals. This organization has food pantries across the state for everyone looking for food support. To see their locations, please visit

Transportation Assistance

Seniors over the age of 60 who live in Polk County can get transportation assistance within the county. Transportation is usually provided to help get to and from senior centers, congregate meal facilities, as well as from hospital appointments. Assistance may also be provided once a week for grocery shopping, helping seniors purchase essential food items. For further information, visit

Low-cost transportation is also available with aid provided by the Compassionate Care Transportation agency. This is a non-emergency medical transportation provider that provides services to the residents of Central Iowa. The agency offers door-to-door transportation services to any county within Central Iowa. Seniors can get transportation assistance to medical appointments, grocery stores, the airport, social events, etc. More details of the services offered by Compassionate Care Transportation can be gotten from

Seniors with limited mobility can make use of the SEATS service. SEATS provides paratransit services with Iowa, helping physically challenged seniors with restricted mobility to get around. Special buses are used to convey passengers and a passenger may be allowed to ride with a personal care attendant for no extra cost. Each bus trip under the SEATS program costs $2 and this should be paid prior to boarding the bus. For more information on the SEATS program, see the manual at

A Half Fare program is operated in the state, allowing seniors aged 65 and older to ride the bus for half of the regular price. Seniors who want to apply for assistance need to present a photo ID which shows their date of birth. Extra details on the Half Fare program are available at

Other available transportation options can be explored by visiting the local Area Agency on Aging. To find one, visit

Charities and Organizations

The Catholic Charities is a major charity organization that helps residents of Iowa by providing help to them in challenging times. Seniors can turn to Catholic Charities for food assistance. This is made possible through the food pantries located in the state. Seniors can get as much as a 3-day supply of food at no cost. Bread is also available on a daily basis. Emergency shelter is also provided to help seniors who have just lost their homes. Stable housing is provided, allowing the resident settle into a welcoming environment to receive needed assistance. From time to time, financial assistance may be offered, depending on the availability of funds. Seniors can visit for more information on the Catholic Charities.

The Salvation Army is another charity organization that seniors in Iowa can turn to for helps. It is an international organization that renders assistance to older citizens all around. The services provided are similar to what can be gotten from the Catholic Charities. Food and shelter are available and seniors may also be able to get clothing assistance or help with their utility bills from time to time. Details on the programs offered by the Salvation Army are available at

Assistance for Senior Veterans

The Iowa Veterans Trust Fund has several benefits which it provides to veterans in the state. Veterans with income levels below 300% of the federal poverty guidelines can receive several grants to cover different needs. To determine if your household falls below the poverty threshold, make use of the Federal Poverty Level Calculator. These grants range from $1,500 to as much as $10,000 and cover things like dental care, vehicle purchase, housing repairs, emergency vehicle repairs, etc. Grants are given out monthly to assist with the associated costs. Veterans who reside in Iowa can visit for more information.

Veterans can also get help through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The goal is to help veterans find housing stability by helping homeless veterans find affordable accommodation, and providing financial assistance to settle the rent of those on the brink of homelessness. Money may also be provided to pay for utility bills and other home costs as needed. More information on the SSVF in Iowa is available at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What financial assistance is available for seniors in Iowa? Iowa seniors may qualify for financial assistance through programs like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for utility bills, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Senior Living Trust Fund, which supports various services and programs for seniors.

2. How can seniors apply for Medicaid in Iowa? Seniors can apply for Medicaid online through the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) website, by mail, or in person at a local DHS office. Essential documents include proof of age, income, residency, and assets.

3. What housing and rent assistance is available to seniors in Iowa? The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) provides the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and information on affordable housing options for seniors. Additionally, the Elderly Rent Assistance Program offers rent subsidies for low-income seniors living in certain rental units.

4. Can seniors in Iowa receive assistance with utility and energy bills? Yes, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible seniors with their heating and cooling expenses. The Weatherization Assistance Program also offers services to improve energy efficiency in homes.

5. How do seniors get assistance with prescription medications in Iowa? The Iowa Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) offers counseling to help seniors understand their Medicare prescription drug coverage and explore other assistance programs to reduce medication costs.

6. Are there property tax relief programs for seniors in Iowa? Iowa has a Property Tax Credit for seniors and the disabled, offering a reduction on property taxes based on income and age criteria. Seniors need to apply through their county treasurer’s office.

7. What in-home care services can seniors access in Iowa? Through the Elderly Waiver Program, Iowa offers in-home care services to Medicaid-eligible seniors, including personal care, home modifications, and meal delivery, facilitating independent living.

8. How can seniors access transportation services in Iowa? Many local Area Agencies on Aging in Iowa provide or coordinate transportation services for seniors, offering access to essential services like medical appointments and grocery shopping.

9. What nutritional programs support seniors in Iowa? The Nutritional Program for the Elderly, funded by the Older Americans Act, offers both congregate meals at senior centers and home-delivered meals, ensuring seniors have access to nutritious food.

10. How can Iowa seniors receive legal assistance? Legal Aid of Iowa provides free legal advice and representation to seniors on issues including healthcare, housing, consumer protection, and elder rights.