MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — 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.
State officials say the loss of the 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.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If Washington won’t lead, Minnesota will,” Walz said. “While Congress continues to hammer out a deal to extend assistance to those financially impacted by COVID-19, the State of Minnesota is offering a range of emergency assistance that have already helped thousands of Minnesotans.”
Flanagan stressed that the pandemic is falling the hardest on Minnesotans already in crisis.
“Every Minnesotan deserves a roof over their head, food on the table, and the resources they need to thrive. But we know there are thousands of Minnesotans who have never interacted with unemployment insurance or the myriad of services offered by the state to help make ends meet. During this incredibly challenging time, it’s our job to highlight the support that is available and to help folks access that support,” Flanagan said.
In addition to the executive order that halted evictions during the peacetime emergency, Walz and Flanagan have also put $100 million in CARES Act funding into housing assistance. Meaning, renters and homeowners facing hardships will be able to apply for assistance to help them get caught up on bills. The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program will be open to applicants in mid-August.
For food, the state’s Food Security Workshop has made it easier to purchase food by allowing those on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy food online.
For jobs, career seekers can find resources for training and apply for in-demand jobs through the Department of Employment and Economic Development.
MORE RESOURCES: Seek Assistance On ApplyMN Website
A series of webinars that highlight resources available will also be available to Minnesotans here.