Jason’s family was having a difficult time making ends meet. Up until a month ago, he could financially support his wife and two children through his job as a cashier at a local grocery store. But his wrists and arms began hurting to the point where he could no longer do his job. The grocery store was letting some people go at the time, and Jason was one of the people they laid off.

Jason and his wife didn’t have much money in savings. They realized that they were going to have trouble paying for rent, food, and utilities. They decided to apply for help from Minnesota until they could get back on their feet. Jason used ApplyMN to apply online for the Minnesota Family Investment Program, or "MFIP" for short. Because he had a disability, he also applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at his local Social Security office.

The next week, he went back to the agency for an interview. He brought all of his bank statements and proof of the things he owned. A few weeks later, the county approved Jason and his family for MFIP. They would get a total of $1,198 a month from MFIP. $621 was for things like rent, and $577 was for food.

As part of the MFIP program, both Jason and his wife met with an employment counselor to come up with a plan to get them jobs. His wife needed just a few more classes to complete her training as an x-ray technician, but had put those plans on hold when they had their kids. Her employment plan included finishing those credits and then an organized job search. Jason’s plan was a little different because of his disability. He thought that maybe he could work from home doing customer service over the phone. His employment plan included a one week customer service training program and a job search as well.

Jason and his wife had two concerns about working. The first was that they wouldn’t be able to pay for child care while they were in classes, looking for work, or working. As part of MFIP though, families get help paying for child care. Their other concern was that working would make them ineligible for further MFIP benefits. But when they both began working, they realized that even though their MFIP benefits went down, their overall income went up because they had more money from their jobs.

When Jason was approved for his SSI benefits a year later, he received assistance from SSI while his children continued to get help from MFIP.