General Assistance (GA)
General Assistance (GA) helps Minnesotans with little or no income meet their basic needs. It offers a monthly cash grant to people with serious illness, disabilities, or other circumstances that limit their ability to work. General Assistance is an interim assistance program to help until you can find another source of income.
To be eligible, individuals must:
- Meet one of the 13 criteria of eligibility.
- Verify income and assets.
- Apply for Social Security Income, Social Security Disability, and any other maintenance benefits within 30 days if they appear to be eligible.
- Sign an Interim Assistance Agreement, allowing the state to recover state-funded assistance if participants are approved for other maintenance benefits, such as Supplemental Security income.
- Have lived in Minnesota for 30 days.
Monthly Benefit Amounts
Monthly benefit amount depends on where you live, who you live with, and if you have other income.
- A single person with no income: up to $203 a month.
- A childless couple with no income: up to $260 a month
- A person living in a facility: up to $105 a month
- The asset limit is $10,000. The total value of your counted assets must be less than $10,000.
- Assets counted include cash, bank accounts, stocks and bonds you can access without financial penalty, and some vehicles.
- We do not count one vehicle per member of the assistance unit who is 16 years old or older. Additional vehicles are counted as part of the $10,000 asset limit.
Talk to your worker to get more information on how vehicles and assets are counted toward the limit.
Verifications at Application
- Ownership of vehicles
- Identity of each person applying for assistance
- Age, if required to determine eligibility
- State residence
- GA eligibility basis
- Date and reason of employment termination, and date last paid for any employment terminated within 90 days of application
- Social Security number
- The following assets
- Stocks and Bonds, including if there is a financial penalty associated with accessing stocks and bonds. Pension and retirement accounts are considered stocks and bonds.
- Bank Accounts
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Debit cards
- Money market accounts
- Certificates of deposit, include if it is matured or not
Other Requirements for General Assistance
You are required to apply for other maintenance benefits you appear to be eligible for. Examples of other maintenance benefits include Social Security, worker's compensation, unemployment, long or short term disability, etc.
If less than 5 years have passed from the date the convicted person completed terms of the court-ordered sentence, the entire unit is ineligible unless the convicted member:
- participates in a drug treatment program. Or
- Has successfully completed a drug treatment program. Or
- Has been assessed by the county as not needing a drug treatment program.
If the convicted person meets 1 of the above conditions, the unit may receive benefits. The convicted person is subject to an initial drug test and random drug testing as a condition of eligibility.
While receiving assistance, if the client fails a drug test or the county is informed by a probation officer or other official entity that the client has failed a drug test or has been convicted of another drug felony, the client is ineligible for assistance for 5 years.
- You can apply online at mnbenefits.mn.gov
- Come into our agency located at 204 Laurel St. Brainerd, MN 56401 to pick up an application. Our agency is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Call our agency at 218-824-1250 to request a paper application be mailed to you.
- Print an application and complete it by hand or complete it electronically and submit to our agency by one of the following methods:
Once screened, you will be scheduled for a phone interview with a worker to review your application and go over any needed verification. In some cases, a worker may try to call you prior to an interview being scheduled. Talk to a worker if you need an in-person interview.
**Each case and client is different. This is just basic information. Please check with your local county financial worker for more specific information.