Financial Assistance FAQs

What is DWP (Diversionary Work Program)?

A four-month program that provides services and supports to eligible families to
help them move immediately to work rather than go on welfare. The four months
of DWP do not count for the 60-month lifetime limit for the Minnesota Family
Investment Program (MFIP), the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
(TANF) program.

What is GA (General Assistance)?

A cash grant program to help adults who have low or no income, and assets and
are unable to work due to age, disability, illness or certain other reasons. 

What is MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program)?

A monthly, cash payment program for families who have one or more children
under age 19 or for women who are pregnant and who have little or no income.
Eligibility is based on income and assets. To receive cash payments,
participants must participate in employment services. 

What is MSA (Minnesota Supplemental Aid)?

An extra cash benefit intended to help meet basic living expenses. It is mainly for
individuals and couples who live alone and get SSI. People who receive in-home
care services from Medical Assistance (Medicaid) or who may need supportive
housing and are on SSI can also get MSA. In some cases, if your income is just
over SSI limits, you can still get MSA. 

Who qualifies to use Emergency Assistance?

There are a number of emergency programs each with different criteria. If you are unsure if you qualify or not please call our office (507)765-2175 or stop in our office between the hours of 8:30 to 4:30 to be screened to see if you qualify. 

Who does the Emergency General Assistance program help?

EGA helps eligible household that do not qualify for EA, MFIP, DWP, or EMSA. Can be used once in a 12-month period. Additional rules may apply. 

I have children and a low income job, which program can help me pay my heating bill?

EA is a program that helps families with children under the age of 18 who are in
danger of being evicted or having a utility shut off. EA can be used once in a 12-
month period. Eligibility is based on income and assets at the time of application.
Additional rules may apply. 

What is S.N.A.P.(Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)?

The Food Support Program helps low income, low asset people/persons purchase food using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The benefit amount is based on income, certain expenses and the number of people in the household. 

I just need (SNAP) food support and health care coverage, do I have to come into the office?

No, the interview for SNAP (food support) alone can be done by phone and no interview is required to apply for health care coverage. 

How do I apply for Energy (fuel) Assistance?

SEMCAC does the Energy Assistance Program for Fillmore County. Please contact them at 800-944-3281 or by fax at 507-864-2597 

What is GRH (Group Residential Housing)?

Group Residential Housing (GRH) is a state-funded income supplement program that pays for room-and-board cost for low-income adults who have been placed in a licensed or registered setting with which a county human service agency has negotiated a monthly fee. 

What is the (EW) Elderly Waiver Program?

The Elderly Waiver (EW) program funds home and community-based services for people age 65 and older who are eligible for Medical Assistance (MA) and require the level of medical care provided in a nursing home, but choose to reside in the community. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) operates the EW program under a federal waiver to Minnesota’s Medicaid State Plan. Counties administer the program. 

What is the (AC) Alternative Care Program?

The (AC) Alternative Care Program is a state-funded program that supports certain home and community-based services for older Minnesotans, age 65 and over, who are at risk of nursing home placement and have low levels of income and assets. The program is administered by counties.

What is an Asset Assessment?

An Asset Assessment is completed to determine the dollar value of assets that can be protected for the spouse living in the community. These are called “protected assets.” An Asset Assessment determines the total counted marital assets you and your spouse own on a specific date.

How do I apply for help through one of the medical programs?

A Health Care Application (HCAPP) is required. Complete the application; attach the requested verification (located in section A of the application). Return this to Fillmore County Community Services. 

What if I don’t qualify for MA?

If you DO NOT qualify for MA the worker will forward your application to MNCare for you. MNCare will be in contact with you if they require additional information.

What is MNCare?

A health care program that provides coverage for uninsured adults and families if the meet income, residence and insurance guidelines. Participants may be required to pay premiums for coverage based on family size, income and number of person covered.

If I am applying for MNCare, what application do I need? And where do I send the application?

The application for MNCare is the same as (MA) Medical Assistance, however, once your application is completed and you have your proofs requested, send your application to: MinnesotaCare State Office, PO Box 64838, St. Paul MN 55164. You may also bring your application to our office and we will send your application to MNCare for you. Any questions regarding your MNCare application will need to be directed to their toll-free number: 1-800-657-3672.

Although I am disabled, I am working. I still need help with medical costs, is there any help for me?

To qualify for (MA-EPD) Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities, the applicant must be certified as disabled by the Social Security Administration or state medical review team. MA-EPD requires that the applicant be ineligible for regular MA.

When will my benefits be on my EBT Card?

Benefits are available on the same day every month, even on weekends or holidays. View a chart of benefit availability: Cash / Food Benefits Chart – link to “Benefits Chart” below

When will my case be processed?

In most situations, the agency has 30 days to process cash and food applications. We have 45 to 60 days to process health care applications. We process applications as soon as we can. It is important to turn in all the verifications we request as soon as possible as this will speed up the process. 

Do you use gross income or net income in determining program eligibility?

We use your gross income, which is the income before any taxes are taken out. 

What does MA cover?

We determine eligibility for the programs. To find out what is covered, please talk to your medical provider or call the number on the back of your Minnesota Health Care Card (1-800-938-3224). 

How do I get a new EBT card?

You can request an EBT card by calling EBT Customer Service at 1-888-997-2227.