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MNbenefits Streamlines Applying for Pubic Assistance Programs


The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) announced last week that it’s 16-county pilot program for MNbenefits, an online combined benefits application service, is expected to be available statewide sometime in early 2022. This new service will enable Minnesotans to simultaneously apply for as many as nine public assistance programs in less than 20 minutes through a single application. These programs include the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Emergency Assistance, Housing Support, Child Care Assistance, Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA), General Assistance (GA), Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), and the Diversionary Work Program (DWP). 

In the official announcement, DHS Commissioner Jodi Harpstead explains, “The last thing Minnesotans facing life’s challenges need is a cumbersome, bureaucratic process to navigate. MNbenefits will help people in need get the important services they are eligible for more quickly.”

A partnership between DHS, Minnesota IT Services, Code for America, and Minnesota’s tribal nations, MNbenefits is mobile-friendly and accessible across all web browsers. It is currently available in English and Spanish with more languages to come online in the near future. The DHS also notes that MNbenefits “creates efficiencies for DHS, county and tribal nation staff, boosting capacity to provide more timely service and a better client experience.”

The original 16 counties in the MNbenefits pilot are: Anoka, Carver, Clay, Cook, Dodge, Hennepin, Morrison, Olmstead, Otter Tail, Sherburne, Steele, St. Louis, Wabasha, Waseca, Wadena and Wright. In September of 2021, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe was included in the program and both the Red Lake Nation and White Earth Nation will be added to the pilot soon. And again, the DHS anticipates that residents of all 87 Minnesota counties and 11 tribal nations will be able to access MNbeneftis in early 2022.

Our Impact This Year

  • People Who Received Utility Bill Assistance


  • Children Enrolled in Head Start & Early Head Start


  • People Whose Utility Bills Were Lowered Through Home Weatherization


  • Workers Provided with Transportation Support Including Vehicle Loans, Repair Grants, and Transit Passes


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