The Tama County Board of Supervisors adopted the following ordinance after three hearings on May 26, 1981 at 10:00 A.M. in the Courthouse at Toledo, Iowa.









BE IT RESOLVED, by the Board of Supervisors of Tama County, Iowa:


Section 252.1.  Categories.  There shall be three (3) categories of general relief in Tama County, Iowa.  These are:

1.      Emergency relief for needy persons;

2.      Relief for poor persons; and

3.      Relief of an extended nature.


Section 252.2.  Definitions.  The definition of terms as used in this Ordinance are:


1.            “Needy person” is a person or the family unit of that person and is domiciled in Tama County, Iowa or who is a transient in the County for less than three (3) days and who, because of circum­stances which are not attributable to that person, needs immediate relief.


2.            “Poor person” is a person or the family unit of that person and is domiciled in Tama County, Iowa, and who, because of physical or mental disability, is unable to engage in gainful employment and otherwise cannot make a living.


3.      “Relief” means food, rent, shelter, clothing, transportation, emergency telephone service, fuel, lights and medical attention.  Food does not include cigarettes or alcoholic beverages but does include laundry soap, household cleaners, and other items of a non-food nature used for personal hygiene.  “Relief” also includes, except for the case of a veteran and his family at their election, provisions of any of the above items of relief by the General Relief Director or Board of Supervisors through the offering of residence at the county care facility.


4.             “Net worth” includes income or monies from any source, monies due, savings and other deposits, stocks, bonds, real estate, cash value of life insurance policies, jewelry, and the value of all other real and personal property, but it excludes clothing, wedding rings, usual household furniture, bedding, towels and similar furnishings, one automobile of a value not in excess of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and a homestead with a value not to exceed Twenty Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00).


5.      “Family unit” means the individual applying and all members of the immediate family (spouse, children under eighteen (18) years of age, children over eighteen (18) years of age who are dependent upon the applicant, and anyone else who is a dependent of the applicant for Federal tax purposes) as long as they reside with the applicant as a family unit.

6.      “Liquid assets” means cash or any other item of net worth of the family unit that can be readily converted to cash within seven (7) days.


7.    “Awaiting approval and receipt” means a poor person who has applied for assistance under any state or federal law; who has pursued that application with due diligence; and who has not had that application denied.  This does not include an appeal of a denial of benefits.  It does include a person who has had an application denied and who reapplies after eighteen (18) consecutive months have expired from the date of the denial.


Section 252.3. Form.  The relief shall be purchased directly from the supplier for the applicant or the family unit.  It may be for one or more of the items of relief that can be provided.  Relief shall be paid only on current bills and will not be paid to satisfy any past due bills unless necessary for current services or goods.


Section 252.4.  Eligibility of Needy Person.  Emergency relief is to be provided a needy person who is in need of immediate relief, cannot obtain relief from any other source and whose income or assistance from a state or federal program has been delayed or not actually received by the person because of reasons not attributable to that person and who does not have liquid assets of the family unit from which to pay for the items of relief that can be provided.  Emergency relief is also to be provided persons who are in need of immediate relief, cannot obtain relief from any other source, whose net worth is less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and who, because of reasons not attributable to that person, does not have liquid assets of his or her family unit from which to pay for items of relief that can be provided.


Section 252.5.  Eligibility of Poor Persons.  Relief is to be provided poor persons who are in need of immediate relief, cannot obtain relief from any other source, whose family unit net worth is less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and who are eligible for, and awaiting approval and receipt of, assistance under programs provided by state or federal law, or whose actual needs, as defined within the limitations imposed by this Ordinance, cannot be fully met by the assistance furnished under such programs.


Section 252.6.  Level of Benefits.  The maximum level of benefits to be provided for each item of relief for each person or that person's family unit shall be:

1.         Food, if food stamps have not been received, at the level of guidance for food stamps;


2.         Rent and shelter, the reasonable rental value not to exceed One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) per month for the person and an additional Twenty Five Dollars ($25.00) per month for each additional member of the family unit that actually resides with the person;


3.         Clothing, the reasonable value of clothing actually needed if not immediately available from other sources;


4.         Heat, light, and water, the amount needed to provide these ser­vices and supplies.


5.         Medical, dental services, and prescriptions, the reasonable value of these services actually needed on an emergency basis;


6.         Transportation expenses, including gasoline, as needed to obtain other benefits or seek employment, provided that proof of application for benefits of employment is provided to the Director;


7.         If a person lives in a rural area and the nearest neighbor is too distant to reach in the event of emergency, or has a medical necessity, the monthly cost of one telephone is to be allowed. Long distance telephone charges for other than medical emergen­cies shall not be allowed or provided;


8.         County Care Facility, shall be One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) extra for each additional member of the family unit, unless extended relief is being provided under Section 252.8 of this Ordinance in which case the maximum shall be Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) plus One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for each additional member of a family unit.


9.         The total amount for all of the items of relief needed, at any one time, shall be determined, and there shall be deducted the amount of liquid assets the person or the family unit have available and the balance remaining is the amount of relief bene­fits the needy person is to receive.  If the needy or poor person, except for reasons not attributable to that person, fails to repay the value of the benefits received, if agreed, he or she shall be disqualified from receiving future benefits.  The Board of Supervisors may, upon application, waive the repayment of all or some of the benefits provided on the same basis as it may waive payment of property taxes.


Section 252.7.  Requirements for Receiving Relief by a Needy Person.  A needy person, who is not needed in the home to care for minor children, shall immediately register for employment with Job Services of Iowa and otherwise actively seek employment.  The needy person shall seek and accept any reasonable employment whether or not it is suitable employment under the guidelines of Job Services of Iowa.  A refusal or failure to actively seek employment or refusal or failure to accept reasonable employment offered shall disqualify the needy person from receiving future benefits.  The needy person may be required to provide reasonable proof that he or she is actively seeking employment.


General Relief shall be denied at any time if:  (a) the applicant or recipient refuses to rely on his/her resources, or (b) there is a transfer of property without due consideration with intent to qualify for General Relief.


Section 252.8.  Relief of an Extended Nature.  It is contemplated that items of relief to be provided to needy persons, poor persons or their family unit will not, during any one consecutive period of time, exceed sixty (60) days.  If it appears that items of relief should be provided continuously beyond the sixty (60) day period, they will be provided by placement in the County Care Facility unless Section 252.30, Code of Iowa is applicable or it is determined by the Director of Relief that it is better for the family unit of the needy or poor person to continue to receive items of relief on a month-to-month basis.


Section 252.9.  Application for Relief.  Applications for relief shall be submitted by needy and poor persons to the Director of Relief at the Tama County Courthouse in Toledo, Iowa, during usual business hours upon forms provided by the Director.  If, because of undue hardship, a needy or poor person cannot come to the Courthouse, the Director shall mail such person an application for or deliver to such person the application.  If the applicant or the family unit is or appears to be eligible for relief or assistance from any other federal, state, or local source, the Director shall immediately refer the applicant to that source.  It shall be the obligation of the applicant to immediately make application to that source, and pursue such application with due diligence as a condition to be eligible for further relief under this Ordinance.  It is the obligation of each person applying to establish his or her eligibility for any category of general relief and need for any item of relief.  If requested, the person applying shall provide the Director with a verified statement of net worth, federal and state income tax returns for the past five (5) years, medical reports, medical authorization, and anything else requested by the Director that bears upon the person's eligibility and need for relief.  The Director may also require, upon approval of the Board that the applicant submits to a physical or mental examination to determine applicant's capacity to labor. The Director shall also receive anything that the person applying desires to submit to establish their eligibility or need to include statements or letters, medical reports, and other written documents as well as the verbal statements of the applicant.  The Director shall then proceed to conduct a reasonable investigation concerning the applicant's eligibility and needs.  The applicant's file and the investigation and findings of the Director shall be made available to the applicant, upon request, or to the applicant's attorney by written authorization.


Section 252.10.  Initial Determination.

1.         The Director shall make an initial determination of the eligibility and needs of the applicant within three (3) working days of the receipt of the application.  Upon that determination, the Director shall notify the applicant orally immediately, if possible, and within two (2) working days after that determination, mail the applicant at the last address shown on the application, by ordinary mail, the Director's written decision showing the reasons for the determination and the statutes or ordinances applied, together with the specific benefits and their amounts to which the applicant is entitled.


2.         If the Director cannot make the initial determination within three (3) working days, the Director shall immediately inform the applicant, by telephone, if possible, of the reasons why such determination cannot be made.  The Director shall, also, mail to the applicant, by ordinary mail, within two (2) working days there­after, the Director's written decision showing the reasons why such determination could not be made.


3.         If an applicant has been previously found eligible, the Director need not receive a new application, but may proceed to a determination of whether or not current relief is warranted.  Notice and mailing of such determination shall be as provided above.  If an emergency and immediate need is present, the Director may verbally authorize a supplier or vendor to furnish any item of relief for the benefit of the applicant and the amount allowed for such benefit.  The Director shall inform the applicant and issue a written decision as provided above.


4.   Whenever an applicant is found eligible and entitled to relief, the Director shall proceed to provide the same and notify the Board of Supervisors.


Section 252.11.  Appeal.

1.      Every applicant, whether granted relief or not, shall be informed in the Director's written decision of the applicant's right to appeal from such decision to the Board of Supervisors.  The applicant shall be informed: (1) of the method by which an appeal may be taken, and (2) that he or she may represent him or herself, or may be represented by an attorney.


2.   Any written appeal or communication to the Director by of on behalf of an applicant requesting appeal of the Director's determination, shall be taken by the Director and put immediately upon the Board of Supervisors' agenda, in accordance with Chapter 28A, Code of Iowa, for the next regular Board meeting, provided that such appeal shall not be heard sooner than five (5) days after appeal is taken.  The written appeal or communication must be made to the Director within ten (10) days of the Director's de­termination, provide applicant's current address and telephone number, and state the reasons for the appeal.  The applicant shall be informed immediately, by telephone and by ordinary mail, of the date and time of hearing before the Board.  The Director shall grant applicant and his or her attorney, upon written authorization, to his or her relief case files if request is made.



Section 252.12.  Appeal Hearing.

1.         The Board of Supervisors shall hear applicant's appeal de novo at the time scheduled in the agenda unless continuance is requested by the applicant.  Applicant shall be permitted to present whatever evidence desired in support of the appeal including testifying, having other witnesses testify, offering documentary evidence and reasonable cross-examination of other witnesses, if present. The technical rules of evidence shall not apply.  The Board may set reasonable times for the present action of the parties at any appeal.  The applicant's file shall be admitted into evidence. The Board may question the applicant, and the Director shall present the Board with the reasons for the determination. The appeal will be tape-recorded.  The hearing before the Board will not be an open meeting under Chapter 28A, Code of Iowa, since the confidential files of the applicant will be in evidence. When the Board deliberates on the appeal, no parties shall be present.


2.    The Board shall make a decision on the appeal within five (5) working days.  The Board's decision shall be only on the basis of the evidence submitted before the Board.  The applicant shall be informed immediately by telephone of the decision and within four (4) working days thereafter, the Board shall mail to applicant at his or her last known address, by ordinary mail, its decision in writing.  The decision shall state the reasons for the action, together with any statute or ordinance applied. The Board's decision shall also state that an appeal may be taken from the Board's determination, as provided below, and the method by which such appeal may be taken.


3.    Any appeal to the district court shall be allowed by the applicant from the Board's decision within the time and by the manner and procedures established under the Iowa Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 17A, Code of Iowa.


Section 252.13.  Actions by the Board of Supervisors.  In the event the Board of Supervisors in reviewing the actions of the Director of Relief questions any allowance of relief benefits allowed by the Director, it should take no action concerning such allowance until it conducts a hearing.  This hearing, the reasons for it and notification to the applicant shall be given in the same manner as if the applicant had taken an appeal.  This hearing shall proceed in the same manner as an appeal from the Director’s determination.


Section 252.14.  Additional Provisions.  The Director may allow, upon application, the additional benefits provided for in Chapter 252, Code of Iowa.  The provisions of Chapter 252.13, Code of Iowa, for repayment of benefits to Tama County, are applicable and the applicant shall acknowledge the same in writing.  Recipients of relief may further be required to work for the County as a condition to receipt of such benefits as required in Sections 252.7 and 252.42, Code of Iowa.  Benefits provided a recipient might be further a claim against the homestead of a recipient and a claim in probate, as provided by law.


Section 252.15.  All ordinance and resolutions, or parts thereof, in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

The Tama County Board of Supervisors adopted the following ordinance after three hearings on October 9, 1981 at 10:00 A.M. in the Courthouse at Toledo, Iowa.


Alvin Ohrt, Tama County Auditor







Section One.  Section 252.3 of the Tama County Ordinances concerning General Relief, in the second unnumbered paragraph, is amended in that the second unnumbered paragraph is repealed in its entirety.


Section Two. The following unnumbered paragraph is added to Section 252.3 of the Ordinances of Tama County:  “Relief shall be paid only on current bills and will not be paid to satisfy any past due bills.”




The following amendment to the Tama County Ordinance Book was adopted by the Tama County Board of Supervisors after three hearings on September 6, 1983 at 9:30 a.m. at the Tama County Board of Supervisors Room, Tama County Courthouse, Toledo, Iowa.


       The proposed amendment is as follows:  252.3 (paragraph #2), Relief shall be paid only on current bills and will not be paid to satisfy any past due bills.  Relief shall not include payment of deposits, taxes, interest or carrying charges.


252.6 (paragraph #2) Rent shall not be paid to person, either legitimately or brother or sister of the whole. 

Any landlord related to the needy or poor illegitimately, as an ancestor, descendant, or half blood,             

aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.



Adopted May 21, 1985


“All needy persons must be willing to accept work when offered or be disqualified from further General Relief eligibility, except those needy who are responsible for the sole supervision of pre­school children or who are medically excused from the work requirement”.