Benefits- FAQ and Resources
Taxes: Iowa is the only state in which your Segal AmeriCorps Education Award payments are not taxed as income! Be sure to fill out your Iowa income taxes correctly by referencing the information below.
Health care: Members serving in AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, or full-time in AmeriCorps state receive health benefits.
AmeriCorps State and National members receive their health insurance through a provider contracted by their program. These health plans must meet certain basic requirements, but the details vary depending on your provider. If you do not know your healthcare provider, contact your program director.
VISTA and NCCC members receive their health care benefits directly through the federal government.
- For more information, VISTA members can contact the VISTA Member Support Unit (VMSU) at 800.942.2677 or electronically at https://questions.nationalservice.gov/
- NCCC members should speak with their team leader or staff at their home campus for any additional questions.
Mental Health Resources: AmeriCorps programs can opt to provide mental health resources through the Member Assistance Program (MAP)
Child Care: As a member, you may be able to receive assistance with the costs of childcare for children under age 13 or other eligible dependents. Eligibility is dependent upon the branch of AmeriCorps in which you serve and the length of your term.
- GAP Solutions, Inc. is the current administrator of AmeriCorps child care benefits. Find out more and apply through their website,www.americorpschildcare.com/.
Public Benefits: Due to receiving a modest living allowance, many members may be eligible for income-based public assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps. Your eligibility depends on your individual family and financial situation, as well as the type of AmeriCorps program in which you're serving. The DHS website includes details regarding how the Iowa Department of Human Services would count your AmeriCorps benefits (living allowance, education award payments, etc.) when determining your eligibility for Food Assistance, Medicaid, Iowa Care, Family Investment Program (FIP), Promise Jobs, and more.
Education Awards- General Information
- After successfully completing a term of service, AmeriCorps members who are enrolled in the National Service Trust are eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. You can use your education award to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans.
- There are limits on the maximum number of education awards you can receive as well as the maximum value of education award funding that you can receive. Details about these limits can be found at the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award web page from AmeriCorps.
- The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act made changes to the amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award provided each year. The amount is now tied to the maximum amount of the U.S. Department of Education's Pell Grant.
- You can make payments from your award in full or part, and can take up to seven years after your term of service has ended to use your award. To confirm the award amount for which you are eligible, call your program or project sponsor.
- AmeriCorps State and National members who are age 55 or older at the time of enrollment into their program may transfer their Education Award to an eligible child, foster child, or grandchild. The recipient then has 10 years to make use of the award. See more detail below.
- For more information, including helpful guides to making the most of your Education Award, please browse the Education Award Guidebook.
Education Awards- Loan Forbearance and Interest Repayments
- Individuals who are serving in an approved AmeriCorps position may be eligible to postpone the repayment of their qualified student loans through an action called loan forbearance.
- While your loan is in forbearance during your term of service, interest continues to accrue. However, individuals who have successfully completed a term of service in AmeriCorps are eligible to have the Trust pay as much as 100% of the interest that accrued on their qualified student loan during their service. The portion that the Trust will pay is determined by the type of service (full or part-time) and the length of your service period. The Trust will only pay interest on qualified student loans, as described in the AmeriCorps web page about national service loan forbearance.
- For steps on how to sign-up for loan forbearance and interest repayments, visit the following AmeriCorps web page:www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/segal-americorps-education-award/using-your-segal-education-award
Education Awards- Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-Based Repayment:
- The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program offers forgiveness for outstanding Federal Direct loans for those individuals who make 120 qualifying payments after October 1, 2007, while working full-time in a “public service job” as defined in the Act. Full-time AmeriCorps service counts as a public-service job according to this legislation, so if you are making loan repayments while serving, these could count towards your future loan forgiveness. Find out more by reading the frequently asked questions about PSLF and AmeriCorps.
- The new Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan helps to make repaying education loans more affordable for low-income borrowers, such as an AmeriCorps members living on a stipend. More detailed information on IBR is located at: http://ibrinfo.org/
Education Awards- Transferring Awards
- Certain AmeriCorps State members have an option to transfer their education awards to eligible family members.
- AmeriCorps State members who are 55 and older when they enroll are able to transfer their education award to an eligible child, grandchild, or foster child.
- Visit the FAQ section of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award web page or contact Volunteer Iowa for more information about whether you are eligible to transfer or receive an education award.