Emergency Assistance Programs

Emergency Assistance is a onetime cash grant available to people who have a threat to their health or safety within the next 30 days. This generally means a loss of shelter or utilities. Depending on the emergency program used there is a maximum amount of emergency assistance that can be issued. Emergency assistance is to be used for basic needs only and cannot be used to pay for legal fees or other charges related to late payments.

The general guidelines for this program include but are not limited to:
  • There is an immediate threat to health or safety.
  • The household must have resided in Washington County for the past 30 days.
  • The household has not used the emergency program in MN in the past 12 months.
  • The household income is below 200% of the federal poverty guideline.
  • The household made at least one payment toward the overdue utility bill in the past 6 months.
  • The household has spent 50% of their gross income minus taxes on basic needs in the past 60 days.
  • Their basic need expenses are affordable for at least the next 2 calendar months.
  • The household does not have available resources to take care of their own emergency.
  • Issuance of emergency assistance will resolve the emergency.

How to Apply


If you are already open on a public assistance program such as cash or SNAP you should contact your Eligibility Specialist and request an application.

If you are not open on any public assistance programs you can call the Intake line at 651-430-6459 or you can walk into any of the four service centers Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and request to apply. You will be given a Combined Application Form to complete and connected with an Eligibility Specialist who will conduct an interview. You could also apply through ApplyMN and someone would contact you for a phone interview.

What to bring to your interview (not a conclusive list)


  • Proof of all monies received in the previous 60 days for all household members.
  • Verification of the emergency.
  • Proof of any available assets.
  • Bank statement covering the past 60 days.
  • Proof of any basic needs you paid in the past 60 days.
  • Anticipated income if starting a new job.

Other Resources