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Public assistance and government aid in Anoka County.

Short term emergency assistance is an option for qualified families in Anoka County. It is often combined with longer term public aid. The county Human Services Division, working with the state of Minnesota and federal government, can offer several programs to the working poor, seniors, and low income that are facing a hardship.

A very short term (30 day) emergency assistance program is offered annually to those facing a crisis. Examples of who it can help includes families that are faced with an illness, utility shut-off, fire, eviction, theft, disaster or other major crisis. The two main components include Emergency Assistance (EA) which is for those families with children. Dial 763-717-7730. Or the second option is General Assistance (EGA), which is a possibility for customers that don’t qualify for MFIP, EA, WB, or DWP. Call 763-422-7246 for information. The Anoka County Human Service Center is the lead agency for these, and some may even be offered for refugees or immigrants.

To expand upon above, General Assistance is a government funded cash grant that is for adults who have low, or no, assets and/or income. They need to be unable to work due to disability, age, illness or certain other reasons.

The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) is a public assistance program for families with children that are under age 19. It can also support women that are currently pregnant and who have little or no income. In order to be able to receive any cash payments, from Anoka County, participants need to be able and willing to participate in employment services.

Another resource in Minnesota is the Diversionary Work Program. This is a short-term, employment focused program for families and individuals that are applying for government benefits or public aid. This particular program (DWP) can provide some for of help for up to 4 consecutive months in a 12-month period. The county and state will offer necessary services and other program support to low income and poor families. The goal is to help qualified families increase economic stability, achieve unsubsidized employment, and to also lower the chance of them needing longer term public aid and support.

Anoka County will also help parents collect child support and offer day care assistance. Officers from the county will use a number of tools and enforcement methods to help residents who meet qualifications, including credit bureau reporting, tax refund intercept, driver's license suspension, passport denial and even contempt of court actions. Some of the funds raised can assist with paying for child care expenses.





Additional financial assistance can help families with infants or children under the age of 18. This government resource can assist Anoka County residents that are in danger of having a utility shut off or being evicted. Any type of public aid or grants are only offered at most once per year.

It is more a program of last resort and can help qualified households do not qualify for other aid, such as  MFIP or DWP. It is a crisis service that has very limited funds.

The Government Food Support Benefits program is an option for low income and poor persons. It can assist them with the purchase of food and groceries. They will be provided with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. This program was formally known as food stamps and income and asset levels need to be met by applicants. Call the Anoka County Government Center at 763-422-7246.

Burial and funeral assistance is an option for the indigent and very low income. Anoka County Minnesota residents, or their immediate family members, that die with very little cash or other assets may be able to receive public funds to help pay the cost of a basic funeral and burial service. A family member or friend can even be the one to apply for this program.

Rent and Housing assistance may be available in an emergency. It can help clients for up to 30 days and basically provide them additional time to stabilize their living situation. At most, for those who qualify, Human services will pay for up to one months rent and/or security deposit to secure a new home or apartment in the county.

The Anoka County Human Service Center can help people find medical care as well. Some of the solutions include MinnesotaCare, which provides health care insurance coverage for uninsured adults and families in Anoka. Of course a number of income and other guidelines needs to be met. Another resource is known as the Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD). For this program the applicant must be certified as disabled by a state medical review team or the Social Security Administration. Some premiums or fees may be required to benefit from either of these.

Apply for government and public aid in Anoka County

There are for different centers across the county. Dial 763-324-4800, (763) 422-7200 or (763)422-7246 for intake.


By Jon McNamara

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