Iowa VISTA Benefits 2017
The gross annual subsistence allowance is $11,880 for yearlong members. (This is $32.55 per day, and a full pay period is 14 days). VISTAs are required to have their bi-weekly allowance deposited directly into an account unless written justification is provided to CNCS State Office as to why direct deposit should not be required. The form for choosing direct deposit will be available online through the member’s My AmeriCorps account. (VISTA Leader: gross annual subsistence allowance is $14,280 per year, which is equal to $39.12 / day)
Health Benefit Program:
Under the Affordable Care Act, all Americans – including VISTAs – are required to have health insurance. So members expected to have health insurance when they become an AmeriCorps VISTA member unless they are exempt from this requirement. Members are eligible to participate in one of two Health Benefit Programs: The AmeriCorps VISTA Health Benefits Plan and the AmeriCorps VISTA Healthcare Allowance. While these are excellent support for most VISTAs, they are not insurance and do not satisfy the individual responsibility requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). International Medical Group (IMG) is the administrator of the AmeriCorps VISTA Healthcare Allowance and the AmeriCorps VISTA Health Benefit Plan. For details about either benefit, please visit: americorpsvista.imglobal.com.
End of Service Benefit:
VISTA members must choose either the $5,815.00 Education Award or the alternative the end-of-service cash stipend of $1,500.00 (accrued at the rate of $125.00 per month) prior to the PSO (Pre Serve Orientation). Prior to the member’s 10th month of service, they have the option of changing from the educational award to the end-of service stipend. Form can be found online through the member’s My AmeriCorps account. Members are NOT able to change from the end-of-service stipend to the educational award. (VISTA Leader: end-of-service stipend = $3,000)
Child Care Benefits:
Child-care benefits are contingent on having a child under 13, meeting an income threshold, needing child-care assistance to complete the VISTA assignment, and having a financial need to pay necessary child-care expenses. More information can be found at http://www.americorpschildcare.com/
Student loan deferment or forbearance or forgiveness opportunities are available depending on the type of student loan. Members are responsible to obtain information about whether they would qualify for these benefits as a result of VISTA service. This is not an automatic benefit of the program.
Ten days of personal leave and ten days of medical leave are available during the year of service. Each can be used with the approval of the sponsor.
AmeriCorps VISTA provides a wide variety of training and development opportunities. These include: PSO: Pre-Service Orientation introduces members to VISTA—its mission, history, and policies. OSOT: On-Site Orientation and Training is provided by the sponsoring organization and introduces members to the organization, the community, and the goals of the project. Other training and professional development opportunities provide through the VISTA Campus include but are not limited to VISTA Blend and VISTA Webinar Series.