Minnesota MFIP Application Information
The Minnesota Family Investment program (MFIP) is a federal program which is also referred to as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Every state has its own TANF program which is adjusted to economic power of that State and to local laws of that particular state. This program is created to help very low- and low-income families to become self-reliable.
MFIP helps families with low income and without steady monthly income, who are also caretakers for one or more children, to prepare for new jobs or professions which means they'll need to become self-reliable after the coverage by this program ends. MFIP provides monthly income, job counseling as well as nutrition assistance.
Once you've applied for Minnesota Family Investment Program and after you've been approved, your family will get a chance to use many of the benefits which MFIP provides. Besides receiving certain financial help, perhaps the most important benefit is active help on finding a job. According to federal law, TANF provides benefits in a period no longer than 60 months, which is 5 years. This means that you'll get plenty of time to help your family economically grow. There are also some cases when the coverage extends even more, but these cases are exceptions. You might be granted for extension if you're the only one who takes after someone in your household who is disabled or ill, if you're not able to work for more than 30 days because of an illness or injury, or if you're a victim of domestic violence.
Since MFIP is created to help low-income families become economically self-sufficient, you'll need to stick to a certain rules, otherwise you'll be sanctioned. This refers to strict MFIP Employment Plan which makes sure you're doing your best of finding a new job. Your own employment plan will set you personalized employment goals, tasks you need to perform in order to reach those goals, timelines, detailed information about your job search as well as the information from your employment counselor. You'll need to sign a statement which is saying that you're willing to stick to this plan and to take an appropriate job once you get a chance for it. If you fail to follow these rules, it will result in 10 percent cut in financial assistance in the first month and 30 percent cut during the next months. This kind of sanctioning can last for six month, after which you'll lose the right to participate in the Minnesota Family Investment Program.
Speaking of the maximum amount you're entitled to while participating in MFIP, this will be calculated for each family and it depends on the income limit for your family which will be subtracted with the family's net income. Income limit is the maximum amount of income you're allowed to receive while you're under the MFIP coverage, while net income is the income you currently receive by having a job or using social welfare program. Since you'll be obligated to find a job while using MFIP financial help, your MFIP benefits will decrease once you've found appropriate employment.
There are several ways to receive MFIP financial help, so you'll be able to get an Electronic Benefits Transfer card (EBT), to get the financial help deposited to a bank account or to receive a check from the State of Minnesota.
MFIP financial coverage could be also paused, which means that you can choose to stop having months counted against the 60-month time limit. During this period, MFIP will freeze any financial help and this will let you save months and extend the period of financial help in the future. This could be quite helpful if you've just found a job and you've started having monthly income but you're not sure whether you'll stick to that job position on a long-term basis. It's important to know that when you "opt out" of your MFIP financial coverage, you'll stop receiving financial help but you'll still be able to get food benefits, health care coverage and child care assistance.
Once you've found a steady job and after the 60-month period expires, you might be still qualified for some types of MFIP coverage like food support, health care, fuel assistance, housing subsidies, etc. This could be approved after careful inspection of the case, so you need you talk to your county worker who will provide assistance and help.
The Minnesota Family Investment Program is created for very low- and low-income families with children. A family can be consisted of one or both parents who are caretakers of children under the age of 18. The age limit is 19 for children who are in school full time. Caretakers don't need to be biological parents but any legal guardians, while children could be biological or adopted as well.
During the process of reviewing your application, you'll be analyzed through your income and your assets.
Income refers to a total amount of money you receive on a monthly basis from various sources like your employment, benefits, social programs and any other sources. After the analysis of your gross income, MFIP actually subtracts certain amount by these rules:
- A certain percentage is being subtracted. While you're in a process of reviewing your application, MFIP will subtract 18% of your income. While calculating how much of the financial help you can receive on a monthly basis, MFIP will subtract 37%.
- MFIP will also subtract any amount of money which you need if you're a caretaker for a child or a household member with a disability.
- The applicant should be a citizen of US, or a legal alien
- Money you spend on monthly basis on child or spousal support will also get subtracted.
Other than income, you assets will also need to be reviewed during the process of applying for MFIP. Some of these are your house, a car, checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, etc. In order to be eligible for MFIP coverage you'll need to meet a certain limit which is the highest value which makes you eligible. The asset limit is $2,000 if you're applying for MFIP or $5,000 if you're already using MFIP.
MFIP Application Instructions
There are several ways to apply for the Minnesota Family Investment Program:
- The easiest way is to apply online via : http://www.applymn.com/ This website features secure web application which will forward your online application to your local county office. This is where you can also apply for any other social program which is created by the State of Minnesota.
- Y- Another way to apply for MFIP is to download, print and fill out an application form which you'll need to bring or to send it to your local human services agency. This application form is called Combined Application Form and you can download it here: :
- A list of county human services agencies could be found here: www.dhs.state.mn.us/main/
After you've successfully applied for MFIP, you can expect to get an invitation to an interview. This is an important step in the process of approval, so make sure you prepare all of the needed documentation. You should receive an answer within the period of 30 days.
If your application gets approved, you'll get s notice with all of needed information on the next steps. You'll be also notified on the amount of financial help which you'll receive on a monthly basis.
You should also know that most people usually have to go through a Diversionary Work Program, which is sometimes obligatory before you can officially start using MFIP benefits. Diversionary Work Program lasts for four months and its goal is to help low-income families by creating an employment plan and making preparations for a job search.