Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)

The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) helps families with children meet their basic needs, while helping parents move to financial stability through work. Parents are expected to work, and are supported in working with both cash and food assistance. Most families have a lifetime limit of 60 months on MFIP.

When families first apply for cash assistance, they usually start in the Diversionary Work Program (DWP). It is a four-month program that helps parents go to work right away rather than enroll in MFIP.

Eligibility

MFIP is for families with children and pregnant women. To qualify, your family must:

  • • Meet an initial income test
  • • Meet an initial asset limit of $2,000
  • • Provide needed verifications.
  • Asset and vehicle limits

  • • You may own up to $2,000 in assets and qualify for MFIP. Your worker can tell you what property is counted toward the limit.
  • • You also may own a licensed vehicle with a loan value up to $10,000. Any loan value above $10,000 will count toward the asset limit. If you own more than one vehicle, the combined value over $7,500 of all other vehicles will count toward the asset limit.
  • Benefits

    Families get a monthly benefit that includes cash and food assistance, as well as employment services. Parents will get help to find and keep a job.

  • • Most people work with a job counselor to create an employment plan. Your job counselor may change your employment plan if you have issues that make it hard for you to get a job.
  • • You must look for a job at least 30 hours per week for up to six weeks.
    • You must meet certain rules for your job counselor to approve post-secondary training or education.
  • • If you are under age 20 and have not completed high school or an equivalency program, you may need to finish your education. Your job counselor or social worker will help you make a plan to get your high school diploma or go to work.
  • • You may get child care help while you are looking for work, going to school or working. Your job counselor must first approve your employment services activities as part of an employment plan.
  • Cash and food benefits are issued automatically through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Benefits change depending on your income. You are better off working when you are on MFIP. When you get a job, the first 43 percent of your earned income will not count in deciding the amount of your benefits.

    Example:

    A single parent of two children who does not work will get a cash benefit of $532 and food benefits of $446, for a total of $978. If the parent finds a full-time job that pays $7.25 per hour, he or she will earn $1,247 a month. With earnings of $1,247 and a food benefit of $365, the combined earnings and food benefit is $1,612 per month. The family income is $634 more each month than if the parent did not work.

    If you do not follow all the program rules, your family’s monthly benefit will be reduced.

    Families are limited to 60 months of benefits, in all states combined if you have lived somewhere else and received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits.

    Apply

    You can apply:

    Online at ApplyMN
    On paper using the Combined Application Form (PDF)

    You can also contact your local county human services office (PDF) to get an application or for help completing it.


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