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Benefits and Resources

Special Needs Grant

Special Needs assistance provides a once-per-lifetime financial grant to help Veterans and dependents stabilize their lives in a time of hardship. Requests are reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis and applicants must demonstrate future sustainability beyond the requested amount of assistance. Approved amounts of assistance are paid directly to the vendors chosen by the Veteran as part of their application.


Please contact your County Veteran Service Officer for assistance in applying for Special Needs benefits. Find your CVSO at www.macvso.org or by calling 1-888-LinkVet (546-5838), MDVA's one-stop customer service line for all Minnesota Veterans and their families.


COVID-19 Special Needs Grant

COVID-19 Special Needs Grant. Program Status: Opens April 6. Now processing applications received on: April 6. Apply through your CVSO.In addition to the once-per-lifetime special needs grant, the state legislature has approved a special needs grant specific to those who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Special Needs Grant is to provide a one-time financial grant, up to $3,000, to a Veteran or surviving spouse who needs assistance due to a COVID-19 related event.

Applications for the COVID-19 Special Needs Grant must demonstrate a financial loss on or after the date of the Governor’s Emergency Executive Order, March 13, 2020. A closing date for the COVID-19 Special Needs Grant has yet to be determined and will depend on the length of the peacetime emergency declared by the Governor of the State of Minnesota and the availability of funding.


Eligibility

To qualify for the COVID-19 Special Needs Grant, applicants must be:

  1. A Veteran as defined by MN Statute 197.447, or the surviving spouse (who has not remarried) of a deceased Veteran, and
  2. A Minnesota Resident, and  
  3. Have been negatively financially impacted by COVID-19.
    *Note: two Veterans married to each other are only authorized one COVID-19 Special Needs Grant.

Assistance Can Be Requested for

Financial assistance is paid directly to the creditor or vendor providing services. Financial assistance is not reimbursed to the applicant or an applicant’s family member. Assistance may be provided for the items listed below and if the expenditure is an emergent issue and incurred during the time frame of the governor’s declared emergency (3/13/2020-TBD). Assistance may be requested for more than one item.

Covered by COVID-19 Special Needs Grant: utility bills, auto insurance, rent/mortgage/contract for deed, security deposit, medical bills, auto loan payment, auto repairs, furnace/AC unit, home repairs (related to habitability).


COVID-19 Eligibility Criteria and Supporting Documentation

For the purposes of this section, “applicant” means a Veteran or surviving spouse. Applicants must demonstrate that their financial crisis is related to one of the situations listed below:

  1. The applicant or their legal dependent have/had a confirmed case of COVID-19.
        Requires:
    • Test results showing a positive COVID-19 test or;
    • A letter from a healthcare provider indicating a COVID-19 diagnosis.
  2. A healthcare provider has determined the applicant, or their spouse’s, presence in the workplace would jeopardize their own health or the health of others because of likely exposure to COVID-19.
        Requires:
    • A letter from a healthcare provider instructing the applicant to quarantine.
  3. A healthcare provider has determined the applicant, or their spouse’s, health was jeopardized because of a diagnosed underlying health condition(s) which would have put them at an increased risk if exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace.
        Requires:
    • A letter from a healthcare provider stating or recommending that the individual self-quarantine or reduce exposure and;
    • Proof that they did not work for a specific period of time to actually reduce exposure.
  4. An applicant is or was under legal isolation or legal quarantine (Minn. Stat. 144.419) related to a diagnosis of COVID-19 or they are/were caring for a dependent under legal isolation or legal quarantine (this would be rare).
  5. The applicant, or their spouse’s, employer directs them not to report to work for COVID-19-related reasons
        Requires:
    • A letter or communication from your employer
  6. The applicant, or their spouse’s, workplace is closed for COVID-19-related health and safety reasons and they are excused from work duties and cannot be reassigned.
        Requires:
    • A letter or communication from their employer that confirms their workplace is closed for COVID-19 related health and safety reasons and the applicant is excused form work duties or the applicant cannot be reassigned.
  7. The applicant is financially impacted by a school or care provider closure due to COVID-19.
        Requires:
    • A letter or communication from your child’s school or child care provider and;
    • A birth certificate if the child was born outside of Minnesota. Dependents born in Minnesota can be verified by Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs staff and;
    • Supporting documentation showing a financial loss

Demonstrating a Financial Need

If your documentation submitted to support your eligibility criteria does not clearly demonstrate a financial need you must submit additional documentation to demonstrate a financial need. Your financial need must stem from a COVID-19 related criteria listed in the above section (for example: your spouse’s employer reduced their hours or furloughed them because of COVID-19 and you have a reduction in your household income resulting in the current financial crisis). All income and assets are factored when assessing your financial need. Examples of supporting documentation may include but is not limited to:

  1. A letter from an employer stating a reduction in hours, salary, being furloughed, or laid off.
  2. Confirmation of receipt of Unemployment Insurance
  3. History of pay stubs showing hours worked prior to 3/13/2020 through application date which demonstrate a reduction in hours.
  4. Hospitalization records and/or bills.

How to apply

An eligible applicant must apply for the COVID-19 Special Needs Grant through their County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO). You can find your CVSO by going to the Minnesota Association of County Veterans Service Officers website.

If for County Veterans Service Office is unable to assist you during this State of Emergency please contact MDVA’s Field Operations Team who can assist you with your application by contacting FO.MDVA@state.mn.us.

Questions

If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 Special Needs Grant please contact your County Veterans Service Officer, or LinkVet at 1-888-Link-Vet.

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