Minnesota MFAP Application Information
How to Apply for MFAP
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In 1998, Minnesota Legislature created a new state-administered program as a response to federal law changes which enhanced SNAP program. This was the way to make non-citizens eligible to continue receiving financial help for their monthly food expenses.
In order to become enrolled with MFAP, you'll need to apply at your local Department of Human Services. After you've been successfully enrolled, you'll receive an EBT card which you'll need to use to pay for your food expenses. In case you've received your EBT card by mail, you'll need to activate it by calling Customer Service at (888) 997 -2227. You'll also need to know your PIN (Personal Identification Number) before you use your card. If you're now sure about your PIN, you can get help from the Customer Service as well.
According to MPAF terms of enrollment, you'll be able to use you EBT card only to buy food at your local grocery store or markets who are partnered with MFAP. You use it the same way you use any debit or credit card. Once you come to a check-out line you'll need to give your card to the sales clerk or slide it through the POS machine. Now all you'll need to do is to enter your PIN number and the transaction will take place.
You can use your EBT card only to purchase food, plants or seeds in order to grow your own food. It won't be allowed to use it on any kind of non-food items, such as:
- Paper products, household and personal hygiene supplies
- Alcoholic drinks
- Tobacco products
- Medication or vitamins
- Pet food
- Foods eaten in the store or any other kind of ready-to-eat food.
Make sure you stick to this rule, since your monthly expenses will be reviewed and if you didn't follow the rules you might get suspended or you enrollment can be terminated.
There are also some other important rules which you'll need to stick to. Make sure you know all your responsibilities, so you can continuously use MFAP benefits. Some of the most important responsibilities are:
- You'll need to report any changes in your household by the 10th of the month, following the month when a change happened. Since this might affect your eligibility or the amount of financial help you're getting, you need to report it to your county worker at DHS office.
- These changes can include any decrease of increase of your monthly income, as well as changes in the gross value of your assets. Examples: increase/decrease of your wages, births or deaths in your household, change of residency, additional vehicle, change of jobs, etc.
Speaking of the amount of monthly financial help you might be getting, it depends on your income, assets and your household size. You'll receive certain amount at the beginning of each month, which will be transferred to your EBT card. In average, MFAP enrollment can get you $118 per month, for one person. The more members of your households there are, the bigger MFAP benefit will get.
MFAP also offers expedited service for very-low income families. This means that families who are already struggling with current food supplies can get MFAP right away. Normally, a review process can take up to 30 days, so this is why in some cases MFAP can be approved right away. You can use expedited SNAP service if:
- You liquid assets don't exceed $100 and your monthly gross income is less than $150, or
- You liquid assets and gross income for the month are less than your housing costs.
In order to be eligible you need to meet all of the following requirements:
- You need to reside in Minnesota
- You need to a qualified noncitizen or a noncitizen lawfully residing in the United States
- You need to meet a certain income limit
- You need to show your current assets
- You shouldn't be receiving assistance as part of the MFIP enrollment (Minnesota Family Investment Program)
There's no limit on how much time you needed to spend in Minnesota to be eligible. You can freely apply if you've just come to Minnesota, and even if you don't plan on staying for a long period of time.
You'll need to prove that you're a qualified noncitizen lawfully residing in the United States. In most cases you can show your original foreign passport with stamps in it, or any other government-issued document which shows that you're legally in the U.S.
Income limit is set to 165% of the current Federal Poverty Level and it also depends on the size of your household. These are the income limits compared to a household size:
For each additional household member, you'll need to add $515.
In case you've got any additional questions, you can call the SNAP/MFAP hotline at 651-431-4050 in the Twin Cities metro area or 800-657-3698 in Greater Minnesota. For TTY service, call the Minnesota Relay at 711 or 800-627-3529.
MFAP Application Instructions
There are several ways to apply for the Minnesota Food Assistance Program (MFAP):
- Visit your local county human services agency, where you can get a Combined Application Form which you'll need to fill out. You can find a list of human services agencies by following this link: www.edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserver/Public/DHS-0005-ENG
- You can also download and print a Combined Application Form by following this link:
Simply print it out and turn it in at your local human services agency.
- There's also a list of partner agencies which could help you fill out this application form and where you can also get any additional help. A list can be found here: www.mn.bridgetobenefits.org/Program_Directory.html
This application form (also known as DHS-5223 form) comes in over 10 different languages, so even immigrants whose primary language isn't English can properly fill it out. It comes in 15 pages, so make sure you take your time and answer the question as precise and truthful as you can, since this can speed up the approval process.
Besides having properly filled out application form, you'll need to gather additional documents which will be used as a proof of your identity, monthly income and the value of your asset. These are all important categories, which need to show that you're eligible for the MFAP enrollment. These document are (by type):
- Proof of your identity
- Proof of identity for each family member who will be using MFAP benefits
- Proof of your immigration status (you don't have to be a legal alien)
- Proof of your monthly income
- Proof of your assets, even though there's no asset limit for MFAP enrollment.