The following programs and resources are available to households and individuals who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
If your work hours have been reduced or eliminated, apply for unemployment insurance from the State of Minnesota. Apply online in English, Spanish, Somali, or Hmong.
You should sign up immediately if any of the situations listed on that page apply to you. They are asking that you sign up online, as phone lines are reserved for people who don’t have internet access or who don’t speak English or languages that have translations available on the state website. If this applies to you and you live in the Twin Cities area, call 651-296-3644. English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali languages are available. If you need another language, press 1 and follow the prompts to speak to a representative and request an interpreter.
Impacted workers can apply immediately – the usual waiting period has been waived. If you are sick, quarantined, or home because of an outbreak at your work, you qualify for unemployment regardless if you have actually contracted a communicable disease.
If you stay home due to lack of child care, you qualify for unemployment, but there are some limitations. An applicant must make a reasonable effort to obtain other child care, as well as request time off “or other accommodation” from their employer. If that doesn’t help, then unemployment is an option.
If you need help paying for rent, food, or childcare, apply online for emergency and cash assistance, food benefits (SNAP), and child care assistance. For one-time emergency financial assistance, call Washington County at 651-430-6459.
Xcel Energy announced it will indefinitely suspend service disconnections and waive late fees when associated with COVID-19 challenges. Call 1-800-895-4999 for more information. CenterPoint Energy is doing the same for gas. Call 1-800-245-2377. Comcast has also expanded access to internet, waiving late fees, and providing free hot spots.
The City of Oakdale is halting water shut-offs. Your city tap water should be uncontaminated and safe to drink from the tap.
To get legal help, begin by filling out this questionnaire by Law Help MN. Law Help MN has compiled FAQs and other legal resources related to COVID-19
Help for Homeowners
If you are a homeowner worried about your ability to pay your mortgage, reach out to your loan servicer as soon as possible, ask for the loss mitigation department, and discuss your options. You can find the number to call on your mortgage bill.
Several federal agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates mortgage owners Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have recently announced a temporary moratorium on foreclosures during the crisis to help people stay in their homes.
A network of nonprofit Homeownership Advisors offers non-biased advice to homeowners in Minnesota to help them keep their homes. Find a Homeownership Advisor offering services in your area.
You should have received the survey in your mailbox, but you can also complete the survey online in just a few minutes. In these uncertain times, it is critical that we have an accurate count of everyone living our communities. The final count will determine federal dollars coming into the state for years, which is incredibly relevant as we address the long-term impacts of this pandemic.