Diversionary Work Program

The Diversionary Work Program (DWP) is a four-month program that helps Minnesota parents find jobs. The goal is to help parents quickly find work so that they do not need to go on the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). When families first apply for cash assistance, most will be enrolled in this program.


This program is for families with children or pregnant women. Most people are on this program for four months. To qualify, you must meet the:

  • • Income limit
  • • Asset limit of $2,000.
  • Ask a county worker for more details about income and asset limits.

    All parents, including both parents in a two-parent family, must develop and sign an employment plan before your family is approved for the program. Your employment plan will consider the type of work you can do and what best meets your family situation.

    You must cooperate with your employment plan and the child support office to stay on the program.

    Some families are not eligible for this program and will enroll directly into MFIP. These include families with:

  • • All adults age 60 or older
  • • Adults with disabilities or children with severe disabilities
  • • Teen parents who do not have a high school diploma or GED and want to finish school
  • • Some single parents with a child under 12 months old
  • • One or more parents or caregivers, such as grandparents caring for children, who have been on this program or MFIP in the past 12 months
  • • Parents or caregivers who are disqualified from this program or MFIP due to fraud
  • • Parents or caregivers who have been in the United States for fewer than 13 months
  • • Parents or caregivers who have been approved for asylee or refugee status within the last 13 months.
  • Families with one or more caregivers who have received 60 months of MFIP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits do not qualify for this program or MFIP.


    You must seek full-time work immediately if you are approved for this program. You will get employment services that include:

  • • Help finding work that fits your employment plan
  • • Help identifying and dealing with family issues that may prevent or delay you from getting a job
  • • Limited training that you can complete in four months or fewer.
  • Families may also get help paying for:

  • • Rent, utilities or other housing costs
  • • Personal needs.
  • Often, rent and other bills are paid directly from a family’s monthly benefit to the landlord or utility company, for example. Money left after those bills are paid can be used by families to pay for personal needs.


    You can apply:

  • • Online at ApplyMN.dhs.mn.gov
  • • On paper using the Combined Application Form (PDF)
  • You can also contact your local county human services agency (PDF) to get an application or for help completing it.

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