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Here's how to find out if you're eligible for special COVID-19 frontline worker pay the state just authorized here in Minnesota-- and how to apply if you are.

The Minnesota legislature passed and Governor Walz signed an order last week authorizing the state to make extra payments to those Minnesotans who worked on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. And now the state has set up parameters on just who's eligible for those payments, how to apply, and when to expect your money.

The state of Minnesota has set up a new website that will contain an application system. Once it's up and running (you can get email updates HERE), you'll have 45 days to apply for benefits if you're eligible. Officials estimate it will take 10-12 weeks before Minnesota workers who were on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic receive bonus checks.

State officials say they expect around 667,000 people across the state will apply for the rewards. Those one-time payments are then likely to be around $750, though could be somewhat smaller or larger, depending on how many people apply. According to the website, here are the qualifications:

To be eligible for Frontline Worker Pay, the applicant:

  • must have worked at least 120 hours in Minnesota in one or more frontline sectors between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
  • for the hours worked during this time period the applicant –
    • was not able to telework due to the nature of the individual's work and
    • worked in close proximity to people outside of the individual's household;
  • must meet the income requirements for at least one year between Dec. 31, 2019, and Jan. 1, 2022 –
    • workers with direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities must have had an annual income less than $350,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or less than $175,000 for other filers and
    • for workers in occupations without direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities, the annual income limit is $185,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or $85,000 for other filers; and
  • must not have received an unemployment insurance benefit payment or serve a non payable week for more than 20 weeks on a cumulative basis for weeks between March 15, 2020, and June 26, 2021 (Minnesota Statutes, section 268.085, subdivision 1, clause 6).

The site went on to list some of the jobs/occupations that could be eligible for this special payment:

  • long-term care and home care;
  • health care;
  • emergency responders;
  • public health, social service, and regulatory service;
  • courts and corrections;
  • child care;
  • schools, including charter schools, state schools and higher education;
  • food service, including production, processing, preparation, sale and delivery;
  • retail, including sales, fulfillment, distribution and delivery;
  • temporary shelters and hotels;
  • building services, including maintenance, janitorial and security;
  • public transit;
  • ground and air transportation services;
  • manufacturing; and
  • vocational rehabilitation.

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