COVID-19 Related Resources

Financial Assistance

COVID-19 Related Resources

Financial Decision Making Resources:

If you are having difficulty paying bills as a result of COVID-19, ask yourself these questions and use the Spending Plan worksheet to figure out your income and expenses before you make any big decisions:
Use this tool to help you make financial decisions: 

Unemployment Insurance:
If you have lost the ability to work because of circumstances related to COVID-19, there’s a good chance that you’re eligible for some unemployment benefits. Both state and federal eligibility requirements have been expanded because of COVID-19. Now people who have never been eligible before (for example, people in business for themselves) may be eligible. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program has been signed into law and guarantees expanded benefits for people whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic. Apply for unemployment (for Minnesota): COVID-19 and unemployment: or for additional information please check out 

Free Renter’s 101 Online Course with a certificate upon completion:

This is a free online course that helps you better navigate the rental process. Finding and keeping a home is an important step in maintaining a stable home environment. You'll get an overview of the tools and strategies you need to secure housing.
Through this course you will ensure you become a responsible renter by learning:
1. How to save money resources wisely to pay rent on time every month.
2. How to choose adequate, safe and affordable housing.
3. How to communicate effectively.
4. How to maintain a home.
5. How to navigate the rental process. This includes learning about screening, lease agreements, security deposits and moving out.

Therapeutic Service Agency (TSA):

For easy access to phone numbers to call for free, confidential, and anonymous mental health support 7 days a week from 9am – 9pm please go to

Pine City Farmers’ Market:

Open Friday & Saturday between 11am – 1pm at the Pine City Fairgrounds. Please check out their Facebook page for more information.

Central MN Council on Aging (CMCOA) Virtual Presenations:

CMCOA provides education and presentations to older adults, service providers, family caregivers, community organizations, employers, and others throughout our 14-county region during COVID-19. These virtual classes/presentations are conducted by our Senior Linkage Line Advocates.  One of the virtual classes is regarding Medicare. For more information about classes offered or assistance, please click on their website link:

EBT online purchasing program:

On May 1, 2020, the federal government approved Minnesota’s request to allow households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) food benefits to purchase eligible food items with their EBT food benefits online. Participants statewide are now able to order online from the two retailers currently authorized to accept EBT food benefits in Minnesota: Amazon and Walmart.
For more information on EBT online purchasing, please click on this link:

Pandemic EBT also known as P-EBT:

With statewide school closures, families with children who were receiving free or reduced-price school meals are no longer able to access these meals to keep their children well-nourished. Authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and approved by the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, these families in Minnesota will now be eligible to receive additional benefits to purchase food as part of the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program.  

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is a temporary food benefit available to Minnesota families with children who would have received free or reduced-price meals if schools were open. During the 2019-2020 school year and the following summer, more than 265,000 Minnesota children received P-EBT benefits. On February 8, 2021 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Minnesota to operate a P-EBT program for the 2020-2021 school year.  Due to changes in federal law, the 2020-2021 school year P-EBT program includes significant changes from the 2019-2020 P-EBT program. 

Here are some things to know about the P-EBT program:

  • If people are not receiving SNAP, MFIP or tribal TANF, they should submit an application for free or reduced-price school meals before February 28, 2021. People should contact their school to find out if they need to submit an application even if they are already receiving no-cost school meals.
  • People should also make sure all schools that their children attend have their current address information.
  • A P-EBT Hotline for the 2020-2021 school year program will be available in early March, 2021.
  • More information about how to prepare to receive these benefits is available on the DHS public facing website:

How Seniors Can Stay Virtually Connected With Loved Ones:
This is published through the Senior Lifestyle.

Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit Program: The program provides $50 or $75 per month towards broadband costs for eligible households.  Eligibility is tied to those who are already connected to an income-based program such as Medicaid, SNAP, or free and reduced-price school lunch or breakfast.

Application to the program is made directly to the internet provider.

More information is available at this link:

How can Minnesotans get in line for the new federal broadband discounts? Let’s figure it out together | Blandin on Broadband

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RentHelpMN is Now Open for Applications

Minnesota Housing is pleased to announce that RentHelpMN is now open and accepting applications. RentHelpMN makes it possible for eligible renters to get caught up on overdue rent and utilities dating back to March 13, 2020. It also makes provisions for those at risk of falling behind on rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note that RentHelpMN is in Phase One, in which people with past due rent who meet eligibility requirements are invited to apply.

To apply for RentHelpMN, please visit or call 211. The 211 helpline has dedicated multilingual staff available to answer questions about RentHelpMN, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Visit to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements and to apply.



If you have any questions, please contact our agency by phone 320-216-4100/320-591-1570 or email