Minnesotans will maintain access to essential services regardless of whether they receive certain COVID-19 relief payments

Under current state law, receiving COVID-19 relief payments may make individuals ineligible for certain human services programs. To ensure Minnesotans can obtain the support they need during this pandemic, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-42, which ensures certain economic relief payments will not be counted as income when determining eligibility for public assistance programs through the Department of Human Services (DHS). Payments this applies to are:

  • Federal CARES Act payments of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.
  • State government payments issued to individuals to relieve the adverse economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to any necessary federal approval.
  • Local government payments issued to individuals to relieve the adverse economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to any necessary federal approval.
  • Tribal government payments issued to tribal members to relieve the adverse economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to any necessary federal approval.

However, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments of $600/week are treated differently; these are considered taxable income, and therefore they would be countable as income for health care programs like MinnesotaCare or private insurance plan options through MNsure. More information on how these payments impact eligibility for MNsure programs can be found here: www.mnsure.org/shop-compare/financial-help/faq/index.jsp#cares

Under ordinary circumstances, additional unemployment payments could cause a person to lose MinnesotaCare coverage or to have a higher premium. However, DHS is maintaining Minnesota Health Care Programs coverage for current enrollees for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, unless the enrollee requests closure, is no longer a Minnesota resident, or is deceased. Senate DFLers will continue to work with DHS to make sure that upon redetermination, people will not be penalized for changes that occurred during the emergency period.

Contact your tribal or county office if you have additional questions on federal unemployment payments: mn.gov/dhs/general-public/about-dhs/contact-us/counties-and-regional-offices.

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