Jul 21, 2022 - News

More than 1 million apply for Minnesota frontline worker checks

Illustration of a superhero symbol with a dollar sign that changes to a question mark.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Minnesota's Department of Labor has received more than 1,075,000 applications for the state's new $500 million frontline worker pay fund ahead of Friday's deadline.

The big picture: Interest in the $750 bonus checks, meant to serve as a thank you for Minnesotans who worked in essential in-person roles in the early days of the pandemic, has far exceeded lawmakers' estimate for the population of qualified workers.

Why it matters: If more than 667,000 applicants end up qualifying, the size of the individual payments will shrink.

The intrigue: While officials have started the process of vetting the applications, the Department of Labor has repeatedly declined to say ahead of the deadline how many have been deemed ineligible.

Between the lines: Legislation creating the program set parameters for eligible professions and income levels, among other criteria.

What's next: The Department of Labor will let applicants know via email if their request was denied.

  • Those workers will be able to submit an appeal next month.

The bottom line: State officials say they won't be able to determine the final number of eligible workers β€” or the check sizes β€” until that process is complete.

  • The payments should go out in "early fall," Minnesota Department of Labor spokesperson Blair Emerson told Axios.

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