Minnesota's Frontline Worker Payments

Since the earliest days of the pandemic, AFSCME 65 has been fighting to protect Minnesota's Frontline Workers and to recognize the sacrifices they made to keep our communities safe and healthy. For almost two years, AFSCME 65 members have been asking legislators to keep their promise and support frontline workers. On April 29, 2022, Governor Walz signed Frontline Worker Pay into law. It includes $500 million for checks to qualifying frontline workers. 

How to check if you need to appeal?

The appeals window closes on Aug 31, at 5:00 PM. The Minnesota Department of Labor sent email notices to all applicants who need to appeal their application. If you are unsure if you need to appeal, you can log into your account using the link below. Click on the "Forms" tab. If there are any forms listed there for you to complete, you must complete those by 5:00pm August 31, 2022. 

To check on an existing application visit https://manager.submittable.com/login

Click here to view the MN Dept. of Labor's Frontline Worker Payments Appeals Fact Sheet. 

When will I receive my payment?

In the next month, the Minnesota Department of Labor will send out an email to any applicant being denied.  Those applicants will have 15 days to appeal. Then the Department of Labor will assess each appeal.  Once that is complete they will send out a final notice of approval to all successful applicants which will include the expected payment amount. 

We expect direct deposit payments to come in Fall 2022, as early as Mid September. Applicants who requested prepayed debit cards may have to wait longer. All of this information is tentative. 

Qualifying Frontline Sectors: 

  1. Building Services, Maintenance, Janitorial & Security;
  2. Child Care
  3. Courts & Corrections;
  4. Emergency Responders;
  5. Food Services, Food Production, Processing, Preparation, Sale & Delivery; 
  6. Ground & Air Transportation Services;
  7. Health Care;
  8. Long-Term Care & Home Care;
  9. Manufacturing;
  10. Public Health; Social Services; & Regulatory Services
  11. Public Transit;
  12. Retail; Sales. Fulfillment; Distribution & Delivery;
  13. Schools;
  14. Temporary Shelters, Hotels;
  15. Vocational Rehabilitation, including Developmental Achievement Centers.

Work Requirements:

  • You have worked at least 120 hours in Minnesota in the frontline sectors above.  between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021(Approximately 3 weeks)
  • For at least 120 working hours, you were not able to telework due to the nature of your work.
  • For at least 120 working hours, you worked in close proximity to people outside your household.
  • For at least one year between December 31, 2019 and January 1, 2022, your income meets the following requirements:

Workers with direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities- an adjusted gross income of less than $350,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly or less than $175,000 for single/other filers.

Workers without direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities- an adjusted gross income of less than $185,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or $85,000 for single/other filers

  • You cannot have received an unemployment insurance payment for more than 20 cumulative weeks between March 15, 2020 and June 26, 2021. 

If my application is rejected, can I appeal?

Yes, anyone whose application is denied may appeal the decision within 15 days of the notice of denial. 

How will the payments be distributed?

Applicants will be able to choose between either Direct Deposit or a prepaid debit card. For direct deposit, applicants will need to provide their bank routing information and account number. 

What information will you need to apply?

You will need the following information to certify you  meet all eligibility requirements to apply for frontline worker payments:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Employer Name (for period from which you are applying for payments).
  • Employer Address
  • Employer Phone Number
  • Employer Email Address
  • Date of Birth

The information above will help the MN Department of Labor (DLI) compile a knowledge -based authentification question. If DLI cannot generate a question for an applicant, the applicant may need to provide a scanned copy of one of the following:

  • Passport
  • ID Card
  • Driver's License
  • Residence Permit

Applicants choosing to receive their payments via Direct Deposit will need to provide their bank routing number and account number. 

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

  • For the higher adjusted gross income threshold, what does, "direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities" mean?
      • An employee had direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities if as part of their assigned job duties, were responsible for providing direct care to a patient, resident or individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • What does it mean to work "in close proximity to individuals outside of your household"?
      • This means being within six feet of individuals with whom you or the applicant does not live. 
  • Does work as an independent contractor or sole proprietor qualify for Frontline Worker Pay?
      • No, the eligibility criteria include the requirement that the worker be "employed." Which means they must have an employer. 
  • Are temporary employees eligible for frontline worker pay?
      • Yes, if the temporary worker meets all of the other criteria.
  • Do you have to be a resident of Minnesota to be eligible for Frontline Worker Pay?
      • No, Minnesota residency is not a criteria set by the legislation.  However, you  must have been employed for at least 120 hours in Minnesota and meet all other criteria. 
  • If I have since left my job am I still eligible for Frontline Worker Pay?
      • Yes, if you worked at least 120 hours in a qualifying job between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021, but have since resigned, or been terminated, you still may be eligible for Frontline Worker Pay. 
  • Can I have someon apply on my behalf?
      • No, the eligible worker must apply on their own behalf. DLI will have multilingual hotline available to assist workers who need help applying. Visit: Visit:  frontlinepay.mn.gov.  for more information. 
  • How do I know if I received more than 20 weeks of unemployement insurance?
      • You can access your unemployment insurance benefit history by following the instructions located on the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance’s “Print payment history” webpage.
  • How can I check what my adjusted gross income was for tax years 2020 and 2021?
      • You can find your adjusted gross income for tax year 2020 or 2021 by looking at your 2020 or 2021 Minnesota tax filing. Your adjusted gross income is located on line 1 of your form M1.
  • Will your Frontline Worker Pay be considered taxable income in Minnesota?
      • For Minnesota purposes, the frontline worker payment will not be taxable. The Department of Revenue expects the income to be subtracted from federal adjusted gross income on the 2022 Schedule M1M, For federal purposes, the payment is included in federal adjusted gross income. 
  • Will your Frontline Worker Payment be considered income for determination of public assistance programs.
      • Frontline Worker payments will not be considered income, assets or personal property for purposes of determining eligibility or recertifying eligibility for:
        • MN Childcare assistance programs,
        • General assistance such as MN supplimental aid & food support,
        • housing support under MN Statutes, Chapter 256I,
        • The Minnesota Family Investment Program and Diversionary Work Program
        • Minnesota's economic assistance programs.