Become an AmeriCorps Member

As an AmeriCorps member, you will receive a wealth of benefits. Perhaps the biggest benefit you will experience is the satisfaction of incorporating service into your life and making a difference in your community in your country.

The AmeriCorps 4-H program recruits for members throughout the program year. Learn more about individual AmeriCorps 4-H service programs or apply for open terms through ServiceYear.

Benefits of Service with AmeriCorps 4-H:

Living Allowance

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Members receive a living allowance associated with their term and length of service. The living allowance is distributed via direct deposit in equal payments across the member’s service term. During the 2021-2022 program year, living allowances are listed below:

  • Full-time (1,700 Hours) – $16,000
  • Three-quarter-time (1,200 Hours) – $11,294
  • Half-time (900 Hours) – $8,470
  • Reduced-half-time (675 Hours) – $6,352
  • Quarter-time (450 Hours) – $4,235
  • Minimum-time (300 Hours) – $2,823
  • Abbreviated-time (100 Hours) - $941
Education Award and Assistance

​​​​​​​AmeriCorps members are eligible to receive the Segal Education Award associated with their term, with the successful completion of their service. The education award may be used to pay for post-secondary educational endeavors or used on qualified student loans. AmeriCorps members aged 55 or order may transfer their education award to a child or grandchild. Education Awards for the 2021-2022 program year are listed below:

  • Full-time (1,700 Hours) – $6,345
  • Three-quarter-time (1,200 Hours) – $4,441.50
  • Half-time (900 Hours) – $3,172.50
  • Reduced-half-time (675 Hours) – $2,417.14
  • Quarter-time (450 Hours) – $1,678.57
  • Minimum-time (300 Hours) – $1,342.86
  • Abbreviated-time (100 Hours) - $357.08​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​You can extend your Education Award by attending a School of National Service. Schools of National Service recognize that individuals who serve in AmeriCorps bring tremendous value to higher education and other post-secondary experiences. Their leadership skills and commitment to civic engagement benefit the institution, other students and their community. ​​​​​​​

Student Loan Deferment, Forbearance or Forgiveness

​​​​​​​Opportunities for student loan deferment, forbearance or forgiveness on qualified student loans are available for AmeriCorps members. Members are responsible for connecting with their loan provider to ensure eligibility.

​​​​​​​As an alternative to putting qualified student loans into forbearance, members serving a full-time AmeriCorps position may be eligible to count the regular student loan payments made during their service toward the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Members may elect to participate in the Income Drive Repayment plan which make their loan payments more affordable during service. Learn more about PSLF and how to apply here. ​​​​​​​

Child Care

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Full-time, active AmeriCorps members may be eligible to apply for the AmeriCorps Child Care Benefit Program. Childcare benefits are paid directly to qualified childcare providers for all or of part of the member’s childcare costs during their active time of service with AmeriCorps. To be eligible through the AmeriCorps 4-H program, a member must meet the following criteria:

  • The Member’s household income must not exceed 75% of the state’s median income for a family of the same size; the limit is difference for each state and may change annually. The total income is used to determine your income eligibility excluding your AmeriCorps State and National Living Allowance.
  • The member must not currently receive a childcare subsidy from another source at the time of acceptance into the program which would continue to be provided while the member serves in the program.
  • The member must be a parent or guardian of a child under the age of 13.
  • The child must reside with the member. The member must certify that he or she needs childcare in order to participate in the AmeriCorps program. ​​​​​​​

 

Health Insurance

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​AmeriCorps 4-H members serving in a full-time capacity are eligible to receive medical, dental and vision insurance through CIGNA.

Additional Public Benefits

​​​​​​​In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the following benefits are generally available for AmeriCorps members serving in the state of Iowa. Eligibility is subject to term type, program offering and individual financial situations. Learn more about common public benefits below or reach out to the AmeriCorps 4-H Program Director for more information. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): The Food Assistance Program provides Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards that can be used to buy groceries at supermarkets, grocery stores and some Farmers Markets. To qualify for food assistance participants must meet income guidelines, be a citizen or legal immigrant. If you have questions about applying for Food Assistance, please contact your local DHS office. SNAP application instructions are found on the Iowa Department of Human Services website under “assistance programs.” ​​​​​​​
    • ​​​​​​​Who qualifies: Eligibility is based on meeting household income guidelines. Volunteer Iowa can provide you with a letter verifying that your living allowance does not count as income for the purposes of this program. If needed, please check with your program staff.
       
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a health insurance program that provides medically necessary health care coverage based on income. Medicaid application instructions can be found on the Iowa Department of Human Services website under “health care.”
    • ​​​​​​​Who qualifies: In addition to meeting certain income levels, you need to meet specific eligibility requirements to receive Medicaid coverage. The following are some of these general requirements: A child under the age of 21, a parent living with a child under the age of 18, a woman who is pregnant, a woman in need of treatment for breast or cervical cancer, a person who is elderly (age 65 or older), a person who is disabled according to Social Security standards, an adult between the ages of 19 and 64 and whose income is at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), a person who is a resident of Iowa and a U.S. citizen, and others may also qualify.
       
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): LIHEAP is designed to assist low-income individuals and families meet the cost of home heating by providing a one-time payment to the heating utility. LIHEAP generally runs from November 1 to April 30 every year (households with an elderly and/or disabled member may begin applying Oct. 1). LIHEAP can also provide a moratorium for the winter season, ensuring that heating sources will not be cut off during a potentially dangerous time of the year. 
    • ​​​​​​​Who qualifies: Assistance level depends on income level, family size, the type of fuel you use to heat your home, and other factors. Applications are accepted at the local community action outreach office.