To qualify for the Children at Home program:

  • You and your family must reside in the state of Iowa.
  • Your family must include a child with a disability, which is defined as an individual who is less than 22 years of age and meets the definition of developmental disability.
  • Your family’s intent is to secure those services and supports that would enable your child to remain living in the family home.
  • Your family’s Federal Net (not gross) taxable income for the most recent tax year is less than $60,000.


Allowable/Excluded Categories

Listed below are the allowable/excluded categories of services and supports. If you have any questions about these categories you are encouraged to call and talk with Iowa Family Support Network staff to discuss possible requests. Please note, while Children at Home funds can not pay for daily living expenses, you may contact Iowa Family Support Network to be connected to resources that may help.
Allowable Funding Request Categories
Each request will be evaluated individually based on information provided in application materials.

  • Equipment
    • Adaptive
    • Therapeutic
    • Functional
    • Technology — additional documentation may be required and other guidelines met.
  • Therapy
  • Inclusion Activities
  • Parent/ Caregiver Education
  • Personal Care
  • Respite/Adaptive Child Care — additional guidelines may apply
  • Medical related expenses
  • Transportation — out of area
  • Nutrition

Categories that will NOT be considered for funding:

  • Adoption fees
  • Animals or training of animals that do not fall within the Service Animal category (as defined by the Americans with Disability Act)
  • Basic child items (non adaptive) clothes, shoes, school supplies, food, car seats, household furniture, cribs, toys, diapers/wipes
  • Basic living expenses (rent, water, utilities, heat/LP, etc.)
  • Childcare for a child age 12 or younger unless there are extenuating circumstances specifically pertaining to a child’s disability that is above and beyond everyday child care costs.
  • Costs incurred from illegal activities such as court costs and fines.
  • Gas cards (note: travel/transportation to appointments is an allowable request –however reimbursement will not be made in gas cards)
  • Guardianship costs
  • Insurance deductibles and co-pays (co-pays for equipment may be considered, please contact IFSN staff to determine eligibility)
  • Phone, Phone minutes
  • Purchase of or repair of vehicles (Modification/adaptation of vehicles is an allowable request)


Appeal Process

If your qualification for the Children at Home Program is denied you may file an appeal. All appeals must be requested in writing. Your letter should include documentation that was not submitted with the original application from any of the following professionals who are knowledgeable of your child’s disability affirming that the decision should be reversed.

  • Medicaid Case Manager
  • AEA director of special education or designee
  • Local school administrator or designee
  • Independent living specialist
  • Occupational or Physical Therapist
  • Physician
  • Vocational rehabilitation counselor

If you have any questions about this program or want to apply for assistance, please contact the Iowa Family Support Network.

Iowa Family Support Network
1111 9th street, suite 320
Des Moines, IA 50314

Fax: 515-558-9994
1-888-IAKIDS1 (1-888-425-4371)


Effects of Children at Home Assistance on Other Programs/Income

On Income Tax:
According to an Internal Revenue Service Advisory opinion, income received pursuant to assistance under the Children at Home program (CaH) is not taxable for Federal Income tax purposes to the extent that the subsidy does not exceed actual expenses incurred for the care of the family member.

On Family Investment Program (FIP):
If you receive FIP payments, assistance received under the CaH program should not affect your eligibility provided you do not use the subsidy for your own basic needs of shelter, utilities, household supplies, food, clothing, personal care and supplies, medicine chest items, bus fares, telephone, newspapers and magazines. You may not use the subsidy for the special needs which include school expenses, guardianship/conservator fees, the expenses of Individual Education and Training Plan programs, and children care while enrolled in a Job Training Partnership Act training plan. If you have any questions regarding your FIP benefits talk with your income maintenance worker.

On Supplemental Security Income (SSI):
It is our understanding that the assistance received under the CaH program would not be counted in determining income eligibility. If you have questions regarding this contact the Social Security Administration office. On U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Section 8: It is our understanding HUD will not consider assistance received under the CaH program as income when determining participation in the Section 8 program.

On Food Assistance:
Assistance received under the CaH program is considered income for food assistance. If you have questions regarding your food assistance talk with your income maintenance worker.

On Medicaid and Medicaid Home & Community Based Services/Waivers:
Being on the subsidy does not affect your eligibility for these programs and being on these programs does not affect your eligibility for assistance received under the CaH program.

If you apply for any services or programs that require income verification and you would like them to not consider your subsidy payment please contact:               

Children at Home Program
Dept. of Human Services-Division of ACFS
5th Floor, Hoover State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0114
Phone: 515-281-5338

Information will be provided to the service or program and a request will be made that the subsidy payment not be considered as income.


Last Updated: Jan 22, 2020