Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

EBT Approved for Select Online SNAP Purchases

Beginning May 28, 2020, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in Minnesota can purchase groceries online using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Currently, Walmart and Amazon are the only online retailers approved by the United States Department of Agriculture for SNAP purchases and available in Minnesota. Click here to learn more.

Economic Impact Payments

The government is offering Economic Impact Payments (EIP) as part of the CARES Act law that was passed by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more information about EIP.

You are eligible if:  

  • You filed a tax return for either 2019 or 2018. You can still file one now for 2019
  • Your income is below the guidelines for the payments.
    • $75,000 a year for individuals
    • $150,000 for married couples filing jointly
    • People with higher incomes get less or no money. See the IRS information for more details.
    • Even if your income is $0 you can get a payment
  • You are not a dependent on someone else’s tax form.
  • You have a social security number 
 

Low Income Tax Clinic

If you didn’t file a federal tax return or get federal benefits, you won’t automatically receive the Economic Impact ("Stimulus") Payment. Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid is offering a statewide Low Income Taxpayer Clinic to help you complete the necessary online IRS form so you can receive your stimulus payment. Click here or call 612-334-5970 or 1-800-292-4150 to learn more.

Discrimination Helpline

Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan launched a Discrimination Helpline at 1-833-454-0148 to report discrimination because of COVID-19. This toll-free helpline reinforces the state’s efforts to protect the civil rights of Minnesotans. It allows those who experience or witness bias and discrimination to report incidents to the state. The helpline is staffed by investigators from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights from Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Translation/interpretation services are available.

Low and No Cost Internet Services

Access to internet is especially critical during this difficult time. As part of our continuing effort to care for our clients, SMRLS encourages you to consider the following information about low and no cost internet services that are available to low-income families.

Comcast Xfinity is currently offering its Internet Essentials program free for two months to new customers. The internet provider is also automatically increasing speeds for all Internet Essentials customers. Comcast Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots are also open and free to use by anyone.

Charter Spectrum is currently offering households with students K–12 or university a new Charter Spectrum internet account to get the first two months of internet with speeds up to 100 Mbps for free. Installation fees will be waived for those who qualify for the offer. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll. Spectrum Wi-Fi hotspots are also currently open and free to use.

Altice internet providers Suddenlink and Optimum are offering 60 days of free internet service for households with K–12 or college students. Internet speeds are up to 30 Mbps if you do not already have access to a home internet plan. To sign up, call 1-866-200-9522 if you live in an area with Optimum internet service, or call 1-888-633-0030 if you live in an area with Suddenlink internet service.

Until May 12, 2020, Cox is offering the first month of it’s low-income internet program,Connect2Compete, for free. The internet service is also providing free phone and remote desktop support for technical support during that time.

Please contact these providers directly or see their websites for more information about these offers.

The Saint Paul Bridge Fund

The City of Saint Paul established the Saint Paul Bridge Fund as an emergency relief program for families with children and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The $3.85 million fund will be distributed to qualifying Saint Paul families with children as a flat-rate $1,000 grant and to qualifying small businesses as a flat-rate $7,500 grant. It is designed to complement other state and federal emergency relief programs and ‘bridge the gap’ between now and when those dollars are available. The application process is now closed. 


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