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Things that you own, like a car or a house. You can only own a certain amount in assets and still qualify for many health care and disability benefit programs. The home you live in and the car you drive to work are exempt under most Social Security and state disability benefit programs. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first $100,000 in an ABLE account is not counted as assets. For Medical Assistance, SNAP (formerly Food Support/Food Stamps), and some other programs, none of the money in an ABLE account is counted.

Also called "resources."

Earned Income (EI)

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Salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and other amounts you receive as pay for physical or mental work you perform. This can include things you get in exchange for work instead of wages, such as food, shelter, or other items. Funds received from any other source are not included. (Contrast: unearned income.)

Employment Plan (MFIP)

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A Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) Employment Plan must include:

  • Your employment goals
  • Details about how you will reach those goals
  • Timelines
  • Details about your job search
  • A statement saying that you are willing to take an appropriate job when it’s offered
  • Information about the help you’ll receive from your employment counselor

Medical Assistance (MA)

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A state-run health care program that pays medical expenses for people who are disabled, young, elderly, poor, or pregnant. If you meet program requirements, MA will help pay for a variety of medical services including visits to the doctor, hospital stays, medical equipment, home care services, and prescription drugs. To apply for MA, visit your county human services agency.

Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)

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This is Minnesota's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (sometimes called "welfare-to-work"). It provides cash and food assistance to low-income families with children, and also helps with job training and finding employment.

MFIP used to be called "Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)."

Net Income

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The amount of income you have after certain amounts are subtracted from it.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

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A county-run, federal program that helps people with low incomes buy food. Formerly called Food Support (in MN) or Food Stamps.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

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A federal welfare-to-work program, formerly known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), that provides cash and food assistance to low-income families with children. Each state has its own TANF program; Minnesota's TANF program is called the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP).

Unearned Income (UI)

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Funds received from sources for which no paid work activity is performed. Disability benefits such as SSDI, SSI, short-term disability insurance, and long-term disability insurance; VA benefits; Workers' Compensation; income from a trust or investment; spousal support; dividends, profits, or funds received from any source other than work are all usually considered unearned income.