Diversionary work program
We offer cash support and other resources to low-income families for as long as four months to help them actively look for jobs. The goal of the diversionary work program is to stabilize incomes so families do not need to apply for broader benefits from the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP).
Participants work with a job counselor to develop an employment plan before benefits can be issued. In a two-parent family, both must participate, and each family member must have a social security number or an application for one.
Participants may also be eligible for other programs, including food support, health care programs, child care assistance and child support.
Enrollment in the diversionary work program generally is required before participation in the Minnesota Family Investment program, with the following exceptions:
- Child-only cases
- A one-parent family that includes an infant younger than 12 weeks (this is a one-time exception)
- A minor caregiver without a high school diploma or its equivalent
- A caregiver who is older than 60, or a caregiver 18 or 19 years old without a high school diploma or its equivalent, who chooses to have an employment plan with an education option
- A family with a parent who already has received diversionary work program or Minnesota Family Investment Program benefits within the past 12 months
The amount of each family's cash grant depends on the number of people in the family, monthly household needs, personal needs allowance, and countable income. Applicants must provide verification of expenses including phone, rent/mortgage, and utilities.
Once a grant amount has been determined, increases in income generally will not decrease the benefit, if the initial benefit amount was based on the best information available at the time. These benefits do not count toward the MFIP 60-month lifetime limit.
Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)
We help families by providing a cash income supplement, helping with food support, child care costs, health care coverage, and employment services. The goal is to reduce long-term public assistance use and to encourage personal responsibility.
Families may be referred when they first apply for assistance or after they finish four months of the diversionary work program. It can take up to 30 days to process an MFIP application. Benefits are limited to 60 months.
MFIP supports work. The program provides help with child care costs and medical coverage, in some cases as long as a year after the family transitions out of the program. Income-earning families also may receive additional incentives.
MFIP encourages personal responsibility. For most participants, program expectations include developing an employment plan with an employment services counselor. Failure to cooperate with program requirements can result in sanctions. The program has 60-month lifetime limit.
Household asset limits
The asset limit for the Diversionary Work Program and Minnesota Family Investment Program is $10,000.
The following assets could count towards the asset limit:
- Bank accounts (such as checking and savings accounts, debit cards, money market accounts, and matured certificates of deposits)
- Stocks and bonds that can be accessed without a financial penalty
- Vehicles (1 vehicle is excluded per assistance unit member who is age 16 or older)
MFIP orientation video
Watch this video to complete the MFIP orientation requirement.