Application renewal required for more than 20K food, cash assistance recipients in Minnesota

The deadline for more than 20,000 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) participants to renew their applications to continue receiving benefits is fast approaching, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).

The DHS stated participants must renew their applications in August so that they can continue receiving their benefits for September and onward.

The DHS has asked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reconsider flexibility requests for SNAP and MFIP participants in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the DHS, the USDA has been denying waiver extensions allowing states to suspend renewals.

As the DHS continues reaching out to the USDA, department representatives state they will notify all households that have to re-certify their eligibility in August, informing them of what they need to do.

To renew, current SNAP and MFIP program participants must complete the Combined Application Form or 6-Month Report, which they will receive in the mail. Recipients must provide proof of any changes, such as a decrease in income, increase in housing costs, or change in number of household members, just as they did prior to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Minnesotans receiving cash assistance through General Assistance, Minnesota Supplemental Aid and Housing Support must renew in August to ensure their benefits are issued in September. Many of the recipients of those support programs also receive SNAP and MFIP, so the DHS states they could take care of all of their benefits at one time.

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"We appreciate that the process of re-certification will be a hardship for recipients who may be hard to locate or who may have barriers to producing their applications without technology and with county and tribal offices still partially closed," Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said in a statement. "We are sending notices now to make sure that people who are entitled to SNAP and MFIP benefits understand what they need to do to continue receiving them so they will not lose these vital supports."

Learn more about SNAP here.

Learn more about MFIP here.

Find emergency food support resources here.