Emergency Assistance Programs

Emergency Assistance is a onetime cash grant available to people who have a threat to their health or safety within the next 30 days. This generally means a loss of shelter or utilities. Depending on the emergency program used there is a maximum amount of emergency assistance that can be issued. Emergency assistance is to be used for basic needs only and cannot be used to pay for legal fees or other charges related to late payments.

The general guidelines for this program include but are not limited to:

  • There is an immediate threat to health or safety.
  • Issuance of emergency assistance will resolve the emergency 
  • The household: 
    • must have resided in Washington County for the past 30 days.
    • has not used the emergency program in MN in the past 12 months.
    • income is below 200% of the federal poverty guideline.
    • made at least one payment toward the overdue utility bill in the past 6 months.
    • has spent 50% of their gross income minus taxes on basic needs in the past 60 days.
    • basic need expenses are affordable for at least the next 2 calendar months.
    • does not have available resources to take care of their own emergency.

How to Apply

If you already have an open case on a public assistance program such as cash or SNAP

  • Contact your Eligibility Specialist and request an application.

If you do not already have an open case on any public assistance programs, apply one of these 3 ways:

  • Call the Intake line at Phone 651-430-6459
  • Walk into any of the four service centers Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and request to apply. You will be given a Combined Application Form to complete. 
  • Apply through MNbenefits and someone would contact you for a phone interview.

What to bring to your interview (check your application for full list)

  • Proof of all monies received in the previous 60 days for all household members.
  • Verification of the emergency.
  • Proof of any available assets.
  • Bank statement covering the past 60 days.
  • Proof of any basic needs you paid in the past 60 days.
  • Anticipated income if starting a new job.