State finalizing Frontline Worker Pay appeals, payment plan expected next week
State officials say the final number of people who will receive Frontline Worker Pay and how much they’ll get will be announced next week.
Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry said the state’s review of appeals made for the pay is wrapping up.
According to the state, the final number of approved applications, the payment amount — which will be split evenly among all approved applicants — as well as the payment timeline are expected to be announced during the week of Oct. 3.
Previously, the state had said the money was expected to be sent out in September.
As previously reported, the state legislature agreed to deliver bonus funds to frontline workers during this past legislative session. Gov. Tim Walz then signed the bill, which included $500 million for direct payments to frontline workers, into law in early May.
At the time of the signing, officials estimated about 667,000 Minnesotans were expected to be eligible for the payments, which were initially estimated to be around $750. In order to get the bonus, eligible frontline workers had to apply between June 8 and July 22.
There are about 20 job categories that qualify for bonus pay, including maintenance, janitorial, security, child care, nursing home and retail workers, public transit, health care workers and many others. Within those categories, there are also income thresholds and requirements that recipients had to report to work in person.
Applicants immediately ran into technical issues due to capacity issues, according to Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) Communications Director James Honerman.
On the first day, more than 78,000 people had applied for funds. By early July, that number had grown to more than 901,000. However, the state’s labor department said after the deadline to apply had passed, a total of 1,199,416 people had applied for funds.
In mid-August, the state reported the total number of applicants who were subject to being denied funds was 214,209. Those who received denials were able to appeal their applications but had to do so by 5 p.m. on Aug. 31.
At that time, the state said once all submitted appeals are processed, another email regarding final decisions would be sent out. As of this publishing, the state hasn’t provided the number of appeals it received but did say payments are expected to be made this fall.
They were rejected for one or more of the following reasons: 55,000 collected too much unemployment pay; 55,000 couldn’t have their employment verified; 43,000 earned too much money; 95,000 couldn’t have their identity verified and 47,000 submitted duplicate applications.
State officials say no funds will be distributed until all appeals are processed.