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Minnesota ‘hero pay’ bonus of $487 going out to frontline workers this week

October 5, 2022, 4:13 PM UTC
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks during a press conference about public safety as the Derek Chauvin murder trial goes to jury deliberations on April 19, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Closing statements were heard today in the trial of the former Minneapolis Police officer who is charged with multiple counts of murder in the death of George Floyd.
Stephen Maturen—Getty Images

Over 1 million Minnesotans who were approved for a one-time payment of $487.45 for their service as a frontline worker during the COVID-19 pandemic will start getting paid this week. 

In thanks for their selflessness during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Frontline Worker Pay program was signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz back in April and allowed qualifying frontline workers in sectors including health care, child care, and retail to apply for a one-time hero payment. 

“I’m grateful for the work Minnesotans did to help people across our state stay healthy and safe through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement released this week. 

But not everyone qualifies for the payment. Eligible workers had to apply between Jun. 8 to Jul. 22, 2022, and had to meet strict guidelines. This includes having worked in person for at least 120 hours within the state and having not received unemployment insurance benefits for more than 20 cumulative weeks between Mar. 15, 2020, and Jun. 30, 2021. As well, applicants had to meet income requirements specific to their job roles. 

In the application, workers chose between a direct deposit or a prepaid debit card for their payment. Direct deposits will take seven to 10 business days from Oct. 6, 2022, to process and the debit cards will arrive within three to four weeks, according to the state government. 

The one-time funding will be delivered to applicants who received a notification of their approval. Those who were not approved were able to submit an appeal during the 15-day period which ended August 31, 2022. Some common reasons applications were denied were duplicate applications or exceeding the income threshold established by the law.

Some Californians are also getting a check from their state government, albeit for different reasons: the so-called Middle Class Tax Refund is aimed at combatting the impact of inflation on household budgets.

Minnesota is one of the few states to offer widespread hazard or hero pay to essential workers. Senate Democrats proposed supplemental pay for those on the frontline during 2020, but that did not come to fruition.

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