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Financial Assistance

Financial assistance provides support to low-income residents of Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood and Rock Counties.  We determine eligibility for public assistance programs such as MA, SNAP, and MFIP.  These services have specific program guidelines that must be met to receive them.  You must be within the monthly income guidelines and asset limits.  Below is a brief description of the programs that are available.  To see if you are eligible and qualify, you will need to apply and provide verification of the information you report on the application.

Cash Assistance Programs:

  • Diversion Work Program (DWP) is a short term, work-focused program for certain families with children.  It provides a maximum of four consecutive months of assistance in a twelve-month period.
  • General Assistance (GA) provides a monthly cash assistance grant to people who cannot work due to a disability, age, or illness.
  • Housing Support (HS) is a funding source to pay for room and board costs for persons living in certain group living arrangements. The person cannot be related to the individual providing care, and the home must have an HS agreement with the county where it is located.
  • IV-E Foster Care pays for children in foster care placement whose families would qualify for a cash assistance program if the children were at home.
  • Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) is a combination of cash, food assistance, and child care assistance for families whose income and assets are within program limits. It is a work-focused program with a goal of helping families move toward being self-sufficient through employment. There is a sixty-month lifetime limit for this program. Some exceptions may apply.
  • Minnesota Supplemental Assistance (MSA) is a monthly supplement to people over age 65, blind, or disabled who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) provides financial assistance to refugees who have been in the United States for eight months or less.

Health Care Programs:

  • Medical Assistance (MA), also known as Medicaid, is a health care program that pays for medical care of low-income people as well as some individuals with a disability. MA also pays for Long Term Care (LTC) services and Home and Community-Based Waivers.
  • Minnesota Care (MNCARE) is a health care program for people who live in Minnesota who don’t have health insurance. There are eligibility requirements that need to be met and there is a premium for this coverage.

Food Programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a program that is available to low-income households.  These benefits assist people with food costs.
  • Customer Service Survey

Emergency Programs:

  • Emergency Assistance (EA) is a program available when a situation or a set of circumstances causes or threatens to cause destitution to a family with a child under the age of 21. EA can be issued once in a twelve-month period for shelter and/or utility costs.
  • Emergency General Assistance (EGA) helps people without children who are in a crisis situation. Some examples are eviction and utility shut off.
  • Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA) is a program that provides medical coverage in emergency situations only for people who are not otherwise eligible for MA due to immigration status or deemed income/assets of a sponsor.

How to Apply for Financial Assistance and Health Care

  • Call the office in the county you live in and ask for Financial Assistance Intake.

    • Application forms may be sent via the mail or you can apply online.  If you call, a worker can give you instructions over the phone on what to bring in for the interview.
    • You may go directly to the office of the county you live in and ask for an application and schedule an interview.
    • If you are applying for a health care program only, you can call and request a Health Care Application be mailed to you. You would then not need to come into the office for an interview. You may also get a Health Care Application on line from the State of Minnesota website.
  • Fill out the Combined Application Form (CAF) Part I and Part II.

    • This combined form is for all the programs.
    • All people in the household and their income must be listed.  Bring in Part 1 to the office as soon as you can.  Your assistance may begin from the date you sign Part I and get it to the office.
  • MNbenefits

    • Apply online at MNbenefits for cash assistance and SNAP.
    • You will then be contacted by a county worker to complete the interview or set up an interview.
  • Bring in all verification of information required and attend an interview with a financial worker. 

    • If you don’t bring in the necessary information, there may be a delay in determining eligibility for any of the programs for which you are applying. 
    • All programs have income limits which you must meet and verify to be eligible. Some programs have resource limits.  These income and resource limits are different for each program. 
    • You may have someone else apply for you; however, you must give your written consent for this.  The other person is called “the authorized representative”.

In an emergency situation, you may call or go to the office in the county you live in immediately and explain the situation.  You may be able to get assistance the same day.  Your emergency must meet the requirements for each program to receive assistance.

Have Questions or Need Help?

We are available to provide you with guidance and support.

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