With the additional $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit now expired, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan are highlighting state benefits and assistance programs for Minnesotans falling on hard times during the pandemic.
State officials say the loss of that weekly boost will have a huge impact and means that unemployed Minnesotans across the state will lose around $200 million to $300 million a week, making it difficult to pay for rent or other necessities.
“People who are already in crisis, will certainly experience this more so than other folks.. That’s why we are here…” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan
So, in addition to the governor’s executive order that halted evictions during the peacetime emergency, Walz and Flanagan say they’ve also put $100 million in federal coronavirus funds into housing assistance.
Soon, they say, renters and homeowners facing hardships will be able to apply for assistance. That program, called the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, will be open for applicants in mid-August.
For food, as we’ve reported in the past, those who are on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can now buy food online using their EBT cards, an easier and safer process during the pandemic.
As for jobs, career seekers can find resources for training and apply for jobs through the Department of Employment and Economic Development.
“This is not something that families should feel ashamed of. Minnesotans, we help out when there’s a need.” said Flanagan.