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American Indian

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For the purposes of benefits eligibility, an American Indian is a person who is recognized as an American Indian by a federally recognized tribe, or is recognized by the United States as an Indian and has a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The federally recognized tribes in Minnesota are:

  • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  • Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa
  • Grand Portage Band of Chippewa
  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  • Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota
  • Red Lake Band of Chippewa
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota
  • Upper Sioux Community
  • White Earth Band of Ojibwe

Americans Indians:

Asset Limit

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The maximum amount of assets you're allowed to own while maintaining eligibility for a particular disability benefits program. Most benefits programs do not count everything you own, including the home you live in and one car you own. 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 a "resource limit."


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A set amount you have to pay when you receive medical services. For example, you may have to pay $30 every time you visit the doctor or $20 to get a prescription refilled. This is also known as a "copay."

Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG)

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Monthly and annual income amounts used to determine financial eligibility for state and federal benefit programs.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) in the Federal Register. The current FPG for one person is $12,490 per year; for two people, it's $16,910. Add $4,420 for each additional person.

Note: Different state and federal programs adopt the new Federal Poverty Guidelines on different dates each year.

Income Limit

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The highest income you can have while still qualifying for a particular benefits program.

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.


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A health insurance program for low-income Minnesota residents who do not have access to Medicare, Medical Assistance, or employer-sponsored coverage. You pay a monthly premium for MinnesotaCare based on your family's income.

You can apply for MinnesotaCare at your county human services agency or MNsure.


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A person currently in the United States who has not attained U.S. citizenship by birth or naturalization. This includes asylees, lawful permanent residents, nonimmigrants, refugees, and undocumented people.

Premium (General)

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A regularly scheduled payment to an insurer or health care plan.

Proof of Identity

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Any document that the state will accept as proof of your identity. Click here for a listing.

Retroactive Eligibility

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Eligibility for a particular program that is granted for months prior to the month of application. Some state health care programs, for example, allow you to begin your health coverage three months prior to the month you apply.

State Medical Review Team (SMRT)

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A group within Minnesota's Department of Human Services (DHS) that decides whether or not the state considers you blind or disabled for state benefits programs. SMRT uses a standard process to decide whether people who are not already considered disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) meet the state's disability standards.

If you already get benefits from Social Security based on your disability, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), your disability automatically meets the state’s standards and you do not need to be reviewed again by SMRT.

Contact your local county human services agency to request a SMRT review.

U.S. Citizen

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A person who is:

  • Born in one of the 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or Swain’s Island
  • Born outside of the U.S. to at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen
  • Granted citizenship status by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

When applying for benefits, contact the agency you are applying to to find out what documents are acceptable for proving citizenship.