Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

May 28, 2021

The Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) brings strength to Iowa's rich heritage.  Our three divisions - Community Action Agencies, Community Advocacy and Services, and Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning - work to reduce cultural, social, and economic barriers to opportunities for Iowans to succeed.

We are hiring! 

The State of Iowa Department of Human Rights/Criminal & Juvenile Justice Planning Division has an opening for a Budget Analyst 2. To learn more about this position and how to apply, visit the State of Iowa Careers websiteClick to edit this placeholder text.

COVID-19 vaccines are free regardless of immigration or health insurance status

The CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older to get a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are free to all people living in the U.S. regardless of immigration or health insurance status. You will not receive a bill for a COVID-19 vaccine. However, your vaccination provider may bill your insurance company, Medicaid, or Medicare for an administration fee. You cannot be denied a vaccine if you are unable to pay the vaccine administration fee.  

Information collected for vaccination cannot be used for immigration enforcement or for the determination of eligibility for public benefits. You might be asked for your address, phone number, and other personal information at your vaccination appointment. This information can be used to monitor vaccine safety and to follow up with you if you need a second vaccine dose. You might also be asked for insurance and Social Security information, but you do not need to give this information to get vaccinated. Vaccine providers might ask for insurance or Social Security information so they can charge administrative fees to insurance companies or the federal government. 

Read more from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health:   English | Spanish

To find a vaccine provider near you. visit, text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX), or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY: 888-720-7489) for assistance. 

FEMA Funeral Assistance

FEMA continues to accept applications for funeral assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.  Applicants may apply by calling 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Multilingual services are available. Please note, phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number. Additional information about the assistance and frequently asked questions are available by clicking here:  FEMA 

Protect Yourself from Family Emergency Scams

Grandparent Scam.  This scam is where callers target older people by pretending to be a grandchild with an emergency need for cash. The callers try to convince the older person to immediately wire a large amount of money or provide a credit, debit or prepaid card number to help pay for a sudden personal crisis, such as a car accident, medical emergency or even bail money.  The caller may even send someone to the house to pick up the money. Learn more from the Iowa Attorney General's Office

Family Emergency Scam. This is when someone calls or contacts you saying they’re a family member or close friend. They say they urgently need money to get out of trouble. Scammers find information about you from hacking into emails and social media accounts.  Learn more about scams from the Federal Trade Commission.

Tips to protect yourself.  Don't volunteer information or rush into making a decision. Don't give out personal information. Don't send cash, wire money, or gift cards. These methods are hard to trace. Stay calm. Ask the caller questions that a stranger couldn't possibly answer. Try calling the grandchild/distressed family member through a phone number you normally call them.  Contact trusted family members and friends to verify the story even if the caller tells you to keep it a secret. Limit what you share on social media. 

You can report a scam to law enforcement.  Additional resources to report a scam:

  • Iowa Attorney General's Office at 515-281-5926; 888-777-4590 (outside of Des Moines area), or email  
  • Federal Trade Commission - Report Fraud, 1-877-382-4357

Iowa Workforce Development Warns of Fraudulent Website 

In a press release, Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) warns Iowans of a fraudulent website that mirrors IWD’s claims portal is attempting to collect personal information from Iowans.  IWD reminds  customers applying for unemployment insurance benefits should only file an application through the official IWD website:  Any other variation of this link is not an official IWD website.  

Fraudsters are obtaining identity information from many sources, such as from fraudulent phishing scams and recent large-scale private sector breaches that included private information from millions of individuals.  IWD has not suffered any data breaches but reminds Iowans to protect their personal information, login in information, and passwords.  

IWD urges Iowans to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity related to unemployment claims.

If you suspect fraudulent activity, contact IWD immediately by one of the following:      

Customers can also visit this website if they believe they have been a victim of identity theft:  Additional information is available online from the United States Department of Labor here: 

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

Hawaii Office of Language Access-Youtube

Iowa Department of Human Rights-Language Access

Iowa Department of Public Health

Iowa Spanish Helpline 515-344-3936 

Multi-Lingual Hotline  1-877-558-2609

Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa  

Test Iowa-Free COVID-19 Testing (Spanish available)

Previous Newsletters

Are there other resources we should know about? Let us know.

To unsubscribe from this newsletter, click here or navigate to the "Manage Subscriptions" section below.

Iowa Department of Human Rights
Lucas State Office Building
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-242-5640 or 1-800-351-4659
Contact Us Form