Deadline for public assistance renewals approaching
Many must reapply by Aug. 31 for food or cash benefits
August 26, 2020
More than 20,000 Minnesotans who receive food or cash assistance must renew their eligibility by the end of August to ensure they continue receiving benefits in September.
Some Minnesotans who receive food or cash benefits received letters in the mail in late July and early August notifying them to renew (or “recertify”) their eligibility for assistance. This includes the following programs:
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
• Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)
• General Assistance (GA)
• Housing Support (which used to be called Group Residential Housing or GRH)
• Minnesota Supplemental Aid.
To renew, current SNAP and MFIP recipients must complete the Combined Application Form or 6-month Report, which they should have received in the mail, and provide proof of changes — such as a decrease in income, increase in housing costs, or change in number of members in their household — as they did prior to COVID-19. They must submit this information by Aug. 31 to maintain program eligibility.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in March approved waivers that allowed SNAP and MFIP recipients to continue to receive benefits without having to gather the documents to verify their ongoing eligibility as normally required. Prior to the waiver, Minnesotans who applied for and were eligible for SNAP and MFIP were certified to receive benefits, periodically renewed their eligibility, and notified counties and tribes if their circumstances had changed.
The USDA recently denied Minnesota’s request to extend the waivers, however, and directed the state to restart the SNAP recertification process, starting with September benefits. To keep recertification dates aligned across public assistance programs, Minnesota is beginning the process again for all the state’s cash assistance programs.
To learn more, view this information sheet about the recertification process.
Program participants who do not remember receiving a notice in the mail, but believe they may be due for recertification, can contact their local county or tribal social services office.
Information about SNAP and other hunger resources is available on the DHS food emergency webpage. Information about MFIP can be found on the department’s MFIP webpage. Food help is also available through the Minnesota Food HelpLine, 1-888-711-1151 or http://www.mnfoodhelpline.org.