MSA is Minnesota Supplemental Aid. It is a small amount the state pays to people with low incomes who are elderly, blind or disabled and who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is also possible to qualify for MSA if you get Social Security Disability benefits that are more than $794 but less than $855 per month.
A person who gets the basic SSI grant of $841 and lives alone normally gets $81 in MSA.
A married couple who live alone and get the SSI couple's rate of $1261 normally get $111 in MSA.
If you live in certain types of non-medical care facilities, the amount is $102 per month.
Because of the way MSA is figured out, you usually can’t get it if you live with anyone else except a spouse who also gets SSI.
You are living alone if:
You have your own lease
You have at least one room to yourself
You buy and make your food separately
If you live in a place like this and get denied MSA, contact Legal Aid.
Any income you have above the SSI amount counts against your MSA grant, but if you work, some of your earned income is not counted.
Your income must be less than the amounts listed above. To apply, file an application at your county welfare office or apply online at https://mnbenefits.mn.gov/. You can also call and apply on the phone or ask them to mail you an application. A worker goes over your income and assets to see if you are eligible.
Assets mean money or property. If you get SSI, the asset limits for MSA are the same as for SSI. This means a single person can have up to $2,000 in assets. A couple can have up to $3,000. But some things don’t count:
Personal items and household goods
1 car, value doesn't matter, as long as you or someone in your household uses it
Any property or tools you use to support yourself
Life insurance and burial plans worth up to $1,500
The asset limits are higher for some people who only get Social Security Retirement or Disability benefits but not SSI.
There are instructions also if you want to read those. Read the form carefully, fill it out completely and click "Submit" on the bottom right. It is a good idea to print a copy for yourself.
By mail or fax:
You can write a letter and mail or fax it. Say you want to appeal an MSA decision and why. Make sure you put your case number and the date on your letter. Keep a copy for yourself. The papers the county sent you should have the address and fax number you need.
You have 30 days to file an appeal from the date on the notice that says you were turned down. You may appeal within 90 days of the notice if you have a good reason for not being able to appeal in 30 days.
You get a hearing with a state human services judge, who makes a written decision on your appeal. If you have an emergency, ask for an expedited appeal (“expedited” means fast). Then your hearing date is set quickly.