The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (Fund) and appropriated $150 billion to the Fund. Under the law, the Fund is to be used to make payments for specified uses to States and certain local governments. On July 7, 2020 Governor Kim Reynolds announced that $50 million in federal funds allocated through the CARES Act will be invested in Iowa’s mental health care system. $30 million of these dollars have been distributed to the Mental Health and Disability Services Regions on a per capita basis to support adult and children’s mental health services, including to cover increased service need due to stressors and isolation associated with the pandemic.
The CARES Act provides that payments from the Fund may only be used to cover costs that—
- Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID–19;
- Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and
- Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.
With funds allocated to the Polk County Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) Region grants of up to $200,000 will be distributed in order to support those in Polk County affected by COVID 19.
Eligible applicants include school districts located in Polk County or organizations that provide services to individuals with, or at risk of, mental illness or disabilities who are residents of Polk County. Grant funds must be used for COVID-19 related services and have a mental health or disability services component that were not accounted for in the applicant’s budget approved before March 27, 2020. Funds may not be used for items or programs already budgeted, or where other funding is available.