News from DHS for May 2022

Minnesota Department of Human Services logo


MAY 2022

News from DHS archive

In this issue:

LoopBack podcast: Commissioner discusses community engagement

LoopBack podcast small version

In the first full LoopBack podcast episode released in May, Commissioner Jodi Harpstead talks about what outreach and engagement work at DHS looks like, why it’s important, and how community members fit into the process.

The commissioner shares past and present community engagement efforts and looks ahead to future engagement opportunities with the communities DHS serves.

The podcast's pilot episode released in April describes how the podcast features responses to previous Community Empowerment Sessions and other events that facilitate authentic engagement, uplift community voices and explore how DHS can better serve the people of Minnesota.

Listen and subscribe to the LoopBack podcast on Spotify, Google, Apple, Stitcher or Anchor.

For more information about the podcast and Community Empowerment Sessions, visit the community relations and public engagement page.

Minnesota Frontline Worker Pay

Frontline worker pay info

To thank those Minnesotans who worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency, Gov. Tim Walz signed Frontline Worker Payments into law April 29, 2022, enabling those workers to apply for Frontline Worker Pay.


Eligibility is based on both work requirements and job sector. See for an explanation of the requirements, the most up-to-date information and helpful resources. Also, sign up to receive alerts about Frontline Worker Pay via email.

Where to apply, timeline

It is anticipated that applications will be open June 8 through July 22, 2022. These dates are subject to change. Applications can be submitted at

The 45-day application period will be followed by a 15-day period to allow for appeals from those whose applications were denied. After verification and processing of the applications are completed, payments are anticipated in early fall.

Listening session on eliminating subminimum wage is June 7

Subminimum wage task force listening session 2022

The Task Force on Eliminating Subminimum Wages is hosting a virtual listening session from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, to learn more about what supports people with disabilities would need if subminimum wage were no longer an option.

People with disabilities working in subminimum wage, families and people who are working in integrated jobs in their communities are welcome to share their ideas and experience.

Register to attend by Sunday, June 5.

In social media: We can help with assistive phone devices

TED May 2022 social post

Posted this month on the DHS Facebook page

Do you have a hard time using the phone? May is Better Hearing and Speech Month – and a great time to learn about assistive devices that can make using the phone easier. The Telephone Equipment Distribution Program provides assistive devices for free to those who qualify. Find out more at or by calling 1-800-657-3663. #BHSM

For timely updates on DHS news and events, follow DHS on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow our DHS Careers Facebook page for announcements of hiring events, new job postings, internships and more.

Accessible formats

For accessible formats of this publication, write to, or call 651-431-2000 or use your preferred relay service.

Grants available to organizations that help people in rural, underserved communities live at home

Organizations helping or wishing to help older Minnesotans and people with disabilities stay in their homes have an opportunity to expand their capacity in rural and underserved communities. 

Grants of up to $50,000 are available through DHS to these organizations, known as home and community-based services providers. 

Grants may be used for many purposes including staff costs, training and assistance in becoming eligible for Medicaid reimbursement, or translation or interpretive services – as long as the grant would improve the provider’s ability and capacity.

The grants are for providers to deliver services to one or more of the following communities: Indigenous-American Indian, Black and African-born, Asian, Latino, and LGBTQ, as well as rural and regional centers outside the Twin Cities.

Applications are due June 13. More information, including how to apply, is available at

newspaper beside a coffee cup

In the news

South Central’s Uniquely Abled Academy is first in MinnesotaSouth Central’s Uniquely Abled Academy located in North Mankato is currently the first one available in Minnesota. The fully funded program, supported in part with a DHS innovation grant, is designed to provide individuals with autism with hands-on training needed to prepare for a career as a computer numerical control operator. Learn more in a KEYC-TV story.

State's Minnesota Business Vitality Council Working Group Releases Report and Recommendations for Addressing Child Care Crisis: Early care and education, a critical part of the economic infrastructure in Minnesota, is dealing with a long-standing crisis. Under the state's Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), a working group charged by DEED's Minnesota Business Vitality Council has released a final report and recommendations to support the creation and sustainability of child care businesses. Learn more in a Red Lake Nation News article.

DHS fact sheets updated

Foster care: Temporary out-of-home care for children (PDF)

Homelessness in Minnesota: helping to connect people to the services they need (PDF)

Does public charge apply to you? - English (PDF)
Does public charge apply to you? - Hmong (PDF)
Does public charge apply to you? - Karen (PDF)
Does public charge apply to you? - Somali (PDF)
Does public charge apply to you? - Spanish (PDF)