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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is MNbenefits.org and can I use it?

MNbenefits is a new, mobile-friendly benefits application for Minnesotans. We are working to roll it out county by county, tribe by tribe, until it can be used by everyone across the state.

On MNbenefits, you can apply for:

  • Food Stamps (SNAP)
  • Cash assistance programs like MFIP and General Assistance
  • Emergency Assistance
  • Child Care Assistance Program
  • Housing Support (GRH)

Can I use MNbenefits in my county?

Right now, you can use MNbenefits in 16 counties:

  • Anoka
  • Carver
  • Clay
  • Cook
  • Dodge
  • Hennepin
  • Morrison
  • Olmsted
  • Otter Tail
  • Saint Louis
  • Sherburne
  • Steele
  • Wabasha
  • Waseca
  • Wadena
  • Wright

I need help now. What can I do?

For immediate food support, find your local food bank. You can also call 2-1-1 or visit 2-1-1 online, a resource helpline for referrals for childcare, affordable housing or shelter, cash assistance, healthcare, and more.

Pregnant individuals and families with young children (0 to 8 years old) can use Help Me Connect to find services in their local communities that empower families to be healthy and safe.

How do I contact my county to get the status of my application?

You can find a full list of county phone numbers here. MNbenefits.org does not have access to your case status.

I submitted my application online. What are my next steps?

You will need to have an interview with a county worker if you applied for any of these programs: Food Stamps (SNAP), a cash assistance program like MFIP or General Assistance, Emergency Assistance, and/or Housing Support (GRH).

If you only applied for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), you will not need to have an interview. You may need to provide additional documents.

Please check your mail regularly and pick up the phone for all calls you receive, even calls from “unknown” or blocked numbers. Your county will contact you with next steps for completing your application.

You are also welcome to call your county directly to check on the status of your case. You can find a full list of county phone numbers here.

You can also send verification documents directly to your county. Find how to send documents to your county here.

How quickly will I get benefits?

Food Stamps (SNAP): Your county has 30 days to approve or deny your case. Some people with very low income can get expedited services, and their cases should be processed in 3 days. Because of the pandemic, counties are receiving a higher volume of applications than normal. It may take longer than usual to hear back. If it’s been more than two weeks and you haven’t gotten any mail or phone calls from your county, or you want to contact your county office, you can find their phone number here.

What benefits programs do I qualify for?

You can use the Bridge to Benefits screening tool to see what benefit programs you might be eligible for. You’ll be asked 12 questions, including your estimated income before taxes. If you live with other household members, you will need to include their estimated income too.

You may qualify for:

  • Energy Assistance: Helps pay for your energy bills and additional resources.
  • School Meals: Provides free school meals for children. Your family may automatically qualify if you receive SNAP, MFIP, or other programs.
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program: Helps pregnant women, new mothers, babies, and young children eat well and stay healthy. You may automatically qualify if you receive Medical Assistance, SNAP, MFIP, School Meals, or other benefits.
  • Early Learning Scholarships: Helps cover the cost for preschool services for children 4 and under. You may automatically qualify if you receive SNAP, MFIP, Head Start, School Meals, or other benefits.
  • Tax Credits: The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Working Family Credit provide tax credit for low-income families. You can claim these for previous years if you haven’t yet. Learn more at GetYourRefund.org. Some families with children under age 17 may also receive new Child Tax Credit payments. You can learn more about how to claim this new benefit here.
  • Healthcare coverage: See healthcare answer.

How can I apply for Healthcare coverage?

Apply with help from a navigator

Applying for healthcare coverage can be difficult.

Navigators are experts who can help you understand your options, complete your application, and enroll in health insurance coverage. Search the Assistor Directory to find a navigator in your area. Services from MNsure-certified navigators are always free.

Apply on your own

Depending on your situation, you can either apply online or fill out a paper application.

Apply online at MNsure.org: Most people can apply for healthcare coverage directly on MNsure.org. You will need to create an account or log in to an existing account to start an application.

Apply using the Certain Populations paper application: Some people will need to fill out a paper application and mail it to your county. Use the paper application if everyone applying for healthcare coverage meets at least one of these criteria:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Only requesting assistance for Medicare costs
  • Children in foster care
  • Age 21 or older with no dependents and have Medicare coverage
  • Applying for Medical Assistance for Employed Person with Disabilities

Do I qualify for Food Stamps (SNAP)?

SNAP eligibility is based on your income and household details. Check the income levels for various household sizes here.

I need to submit a form, but I can’t find the right one. Where can I get it?

DHS Shelter Verification Form: Use this form to report how much you spend on housing costs.

DHS Authorization for Release of Employment Information: Use this form to report your income. You can also use this form to grant permission to your county to reach out to your employer on your behalf.

DHS Self-Employment Report Form: Use this form to report any income you get from self-employment (i.e. gig work like driving for Uber).

DHS Change Report Form: Use this form to report changes in your situation to your county.

I need to send verification documents (proofs) to my county. Where do I send them?

You can send your verification documents directly to your county. Find how to send documents to your county here.