While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the LIHEAP program and compiled a guide and the following answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
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The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides financial assistance to low-income families. The goal of TANF is to help families become financially self-sufficient. States and U.S. Territories receive block grants from the federal government, which are used to fund each state and territory’s specific TANF program.
Learn more about the TANF program and its primary purposes here.
In Minnesota, the TANF program is known as the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). To learn more about MFIP and the assistance benefits it provides, visit the Minnesota MFIP website here.
The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) provides temporary assistance to financially support families in need. The MFIP program also provides eligible families with work preparation services to help them re-enter the workforce or find more stable employment.
For more information on the services, the MFIP program provides to participating families, review the MFIP website found here.
MFIP and Food Assistance are both assistance programs administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. While Food Assistance benefits can only be used to purchase foods that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, MFIP benefits are money that can be used however the participant sees fit, with some restrictions.
To learn more about the restrictions on MFIP expenditures, visit the How to Use Your Minnesota EBT Card brochure here.
Both MFIP and Food Assistance benefits can be given to participants on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. However, MFIP benefits can be transferred directly into a participant’s bank account or withdrawn from an approved ATM. Food Assistance benefits cannot. To learn more about MFIP direct deposits, click here.
Many MFIP participants also qualify for Food Assistance due to the low-income requirement of both programs. For more information about Food Assistance, click here.
To apply for Food Assistance and/or MFIP, visit ApplyMN here.
If you have questions about MFIP or Food Assistance, call the Minnesota Family Investment Program at 1 (651) 431-4000.
The exact benefit amount a family will receive each month will depend on their household income, size and resources. Families can receive these benefits for up to 60 months throughout their lifetime.
Learn more information about MFIP and benefit amounts in Minnesota here.
To qualify for MFIP in Minnesota, you must meet the following requirements:
To learn more about who can receive MFIP benefits, click here.
Before you apply for the Minnesota Family Investment Program, complete the following three steps:
Learn about the MFIP eligibility requirements here.
Find a list of what you need to apply on page 1 of the MFIP application here.
To apply for MFIP online, create an account on ApplyMN here and fill out the virtual application form.
To apply for MFIP in person, click here to find the nearest Minnesota Department of Human Services office location.
To apply for MFIP by mail, fill out the Combined Application Form found here and send it with copies of your necessary documents to your local Department of Human Services office.
If you have any further questions about the application process, call the Minnesota Family Investment Program at 1 (651) 431-4000 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Depending on your method of application, you can check your application status in the following ways:
You must complete an eligibility interview before your MFIP application can be processed. You will be contacted to schedule your interview.
After your interview, you should receive a notice in the mail from the Department of Human Services within 30 days of your interview with your determination, your benefit amount and how you will be receiving the benefits, if you are approved.
If you have a valid bank account listed on your application, your MFIP benefits will be deposited after you receive your determination letter. Otherwise, you will receive an EBT card in the mail.
Once you receive your benefits, you can use them to support your family as you see fit, while following the restrictions.
Learn more information about how to use your EBT card and how benefits will be distributed here.
If you require additional assistance or have questions about your determination call 1 (651) 431-4000.
If you do not agree with the MFIP benefit decision given to you by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, you can appeal your decision in person or by mail within 30 days of receiving your determination letter.
To file an appeal in person, visit a local Department of Human Services office. You will need to speak with a representative and tell them why you are appealing your determination. You may also need to bring your benefit determination letter and evidence that supports your appeal. Find your nearest location here.
To file a claim by mail, you will need to write a letter that includes the following information:
For help with obtaining Minnesota Family Investment Program benefits, or for any further questions about your application, call the Minnesota Family Investment Program at 1 (651) 431-4000. You can also send your inquiries via email to email@example.com.
You can also visit or call a local Department of Human Services office for further assistance. Find your nearest location here.
Offices and services are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and compiled a guide and these answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
Our free TANF Guide is filled with helpful information about how to apply, program eligibility requirements and how to get in touch with local offices. You can view or download our free guide here.