Welcome to Bridge to Benefits

Bridge to Benefits is a project by Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota to improve the well-being of families and individuals by linking them to public work support programs and tax credits. By answering a few simple questions, you will be able to see if you or someone else may be eligible for public work support programs. We will NOT ask you for information that identifies you. 
It's easy, confidential and free!


NOTE: This screening tool does not determine eligibility. It is only a guideline. After using this screening tool, you must apply to each program to be sure your are eligible.


Partial Government Shutdown Effects on SNAP

Though the effects of the shutdown are often changing by the hour, the following effects on SNAP are currently in effect for Minnesotans accessing or applying to the program:

  • February SNAP benefits will be issued early (on or around January 20th). This is not a bonus or additional benefit. No SNAP benefits will be issued in February.
  • Any household accessing SNAP that needs to report a household or income change to their county should do so ASAP. Find the SNAP contact in your county here.
  • A small number, about 1%, of retailers in Minnesota have not been able to reauthorize their ability to accept SNAP/EBT card payments because of the shutdown. If your EBT Card/SNAP benefits did not work at a retailer, try another retailer that accepts SNAP. Find retailers that accept SNAP here.
  • People can and should still apply for SNAP benefits during the government shutdown. However, for new applicants benefits will NOT be issued until after the shutdown is over. Find out if you might be eligible for SNAP and how to apply by clicking the green Start button on our homepage.
  • Currently MFIP cash assistance benefits are not affected by the shutdown and will continue to be issued. MFIP Food benefits will be treated like other SNAP cases and benefits will be issued early as well.

If you have questions about any of this information or how the shutdown is affecting SNAP or need help with other food resources, please call the Minnesota Food Helpline at 1-888-711-1151 or use the live chat function on their website.

This page will continue to be updated with information as it becomes available regarding the effects of the shutdown on SNAP and other federal work support programs and tax credits.

Partial Government Shutdown Effect on Work Supports & Tax Credits

Currently, the partial shutdown of the federal government does not effect any of the work support programs and tax credits included on this website and screening too, with the exception of SNAP. Click here to find out more about how the shutdown is affecting SNAP in Minnesota. At this time, families and individuals should keep receiving benefits they're currently accessing and can and should apply for benefits they may be eligible for and file their taxes. As the shutdown continues, Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota is monitoring the effects on the programs and tax credits included on this tool and will post any updated information as it becomes available.

Information on Proposed Public Charge Changes

The Trump Adminstration recently released a proposed change to the definition of public charge, the test applied to certain immigrants seeking to enter the country or to be granted lawful permanent residency to determine if they are likely to be reliant on government assistance. The current rule only includes cash assistance and certain long-term care programs, and NONE of the programs included on Bridge to Benefits. This is just a proposal and is not in effect, so all families should continue to access the programs on Bridge to Benefits for which they're eligible. Click here for more information about the current and proposed rule and who it affects.

Postsecondary Child Care Grant Program

The Postsecondary Child Care Grant Program helps low income students who have young children pay for child care while the student attends classes.