Iowa Dept of Human Rights

iowa department of human rights

June 6, 2020


We are here to help.

COVID-19 has affected various aspects of life for Iowa residents, communities, and businesses. Information surrounding COVID-19 is rapidly changing and can be overwhelming. To help Iowans navigate information, the Iowa Department of Human Rights has compiled some resources about health and safety, language access, food, employment, grants, and more that we will be sending out in a weekly email. We hope these resources will help Iowans stay safe, healthy, informed, and resilient during these challenging times.

During the pandemic, it is especially important for us to serve as a catalyst of information to provide support and resources to Iowans, particularly vulnerable Iowans who are  experiencing additional challenges, to help them understand the state's response to  COVID-19. 

After this week, our newsletters will be available bi-weekly. Please continue to follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Thank You to Our Staff and Partners

The health and safety of our staff and our communities are our top priority. The Iowa Department of Human Rights staff are working remotely and continue to serve Iowans.  We can be reached at 1-800-351-4659 or via our web portal Contact Us form.

As Iowa transitions from response to recovery phase, the Iowa Department of Human Rights thanks its staff, partners, and communities for their continued commitment and passion for helping Iowans during a time of need. From increasing access to information, to utility assistance, to distributions of food and masks, to family services, our collective actions are supporting Iowans whose lives have been impacted by the pandemic.

LIHEAP Application Deadline June 30, 2020

If you are having trouble paying your home energy bill or facing disconnection, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is accepting applications through June 30, 2020, at your local community action agency. To find a community action agency near you, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights' website at Many agencies offer other assistance such as food banks, food delivery initiatives, clothing, diapers, and addressing other emergency needs.

Governor Reynolds issues disaster proclamation for Black Hawk County

Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Black Hawk County in response to a severe storm June 20. The governor's proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of this severe weather and activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program, for Black Hawk County.

The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level or a maximum annual income of $43,440 for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and temporary housing expenses. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website. Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim.

For information on the Disaster Case Management Program, contact your local community action agency or visit

Paycheck Protection Program accepting applications until June 30, 2020

The Small Business Administration is assisting small businesses and non-profits with access to the federal forgivable loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is currently accepting applications until June 30, 2020. More than $129 billion remains to be loaned in the PPP fund. The new rule updates provisions relating to loan maturity, deferral of loan payments, and forgiveness provisions and expands eligibility for businesses with owners who have past felony convictions.

To learn more, visit:

Tax Deadlines and Free Tax Preparation

The extended deadline to file and pay 2019 federal income taxes is July 15, 2020Iowa tax returns are due July 31, 2020

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provides free tax preparation to low-to-moderate income families and individuals. IRS-trained volunteer tax preparers assist clients to complete their tax returns and file them electronically for fast refunds.

  • Dubuque County - Operation New View Community Action Agency is resuming a free income tax preparation service in Dubuque. Taxpayers will need an appointment to leave documents at the Operation New office at 1473 Central Ave. in Dubuque. For more information and needed documents, click here.  
  • Cerro Gordo and Winnebago Counties - North Iowa Community Action Organization 1-800-873-1899.
  • Quad Cities - United Way of the Quad Cities VITA  will be hosting a one-day VITA FREE tax preparation drop off service Saturday, June 27, at the Davenport Fairmount Library parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information and required documents, visit

To locate the VITA site nearest to you, visit the IRS website or call 1-800-906-9887 or 211 in Iowa for opened offices. The IRS website has information available in multiple languages.  

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITC) assist low income individuals who have a tax dispute with the IRS, and provide education and outreach to individuals who are English Language Learners. For more information and eligibility, visit the Iowa Legal Aid website at or call 1-800-532-1275. Spanish and other languages are available through interpreter services. 

Stimulus Payment Request Deadline for Non-Filers- October 15

The IRS reminds Americans who don't earn enough to have a tax filing requirement to sign up online with the IRS to request an Economic Impact Payment. If you're a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or "qualifying resident alien", you may be eligible for an Economic Impact Payment. Even if you don't normally file taxes or are experiencing homelessness, you may still qualify for a payment. You may also get an additional $500 for each qualifying child. To get this $1,200 payment, sign up at by October 15, 2020. No income is required and registering won't result in you owing taxes.

For eligibility requirements, required documents, and more information, visit (website available in multiple languages).

EEOC Unveils New Online Visual Data Presentation

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has created new data visualizations to illustrate existing online employment discrimination data found here. 

The purpose of these visuals, created by the EEOC’s Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics (OEDA), is to display enforcement data in a simple, comprehensible, and visually appealing way for all the EEOC’s stakeholders.

COVID-19 Language Resources

American Sign Language Videos-CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Resources for Limited English Proficient Populations

Congolese Health Partnership Videos

Coronavirus, State Website

Crescent Community Health Center-Marshallese Language

EMBARC Ethnic Minorities of Burma and Advocacy and Resource Center

Iowa Department of Human Rights-Language Access

Iowa Department of Public Health

Iowa Spanish Helpine 515-344-3936 

Multi-Lingual Hotline  1-877-558-2609
(Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa and partners)

Test Iowa-COVID-19 Testing (Spanish available)

Previous Newsletters

June 19, 2020

June 12, 2020

June 6, 2020

May 29, 2020

May 22, 2020

May 15, 2020

May 8, 2020

May 1, 2020

April 24, 2020

April 17, 2020

April 10, 2020