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PHHS - Financial Assistance Programs

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PHHS Logo.png

Cook County Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) Financial Assistance Supervisor, Allison Plummer talks with North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson about the financial assistance programs available to Cook County residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

For questions about assistance programs, email:  IM@; or call 218-387-3620

Listen below:


Help available locally through Cook County PHHS:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that helps Minnesotans with low income buy the food they need for nutritious and well-balanced meals. Benefits are available through EBT cards that can be used like money. 
    • The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act allows SNAP households who are not currently at the maximum allotment to receive additional food benefits. The additional benefits are the difference between what they already received and the maximum allotment for their SNAP household size. The supplement is available for two months (March and April). The program for these supplements is Emergency SNAP or E-SNAP.
  • The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and Diversionary Work Program (DWP) are Minnesota’s income assistance programs to help families with low incomes move to financial stability through work. Families and pregnant women who qualify for these programs receive employment support services and job counseling and help with food, childcare and other basic needs. 
  • General Assistance (GA) and Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) are Minnesota’s income assistance programs for adults without children, seniors, and people with disabilities. GA is a monthly cash payment for adults who are unable to work. MSA is a small extra monthly cash benefit for adults who are eligible for federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  
  • Emergency Assistance can help with shelter expenses, such as past due rent, a damage deposit, or emergency shelter to prevent homelessness. Emergency Assistance also help pay for utilities when there is threat of disconnection. Utilities include electricity, heat and water.

Apply for these programs online at You can also call or email PHHS to request a paper application. Paper applications are also available outside the PHHS offices on the ramp at the north end of the Cook County courthouse. You may also apply over the phone with PHHS for SNAP and other income assistance programs.

  • For questions about assistance programs:
    • Email:
    • Call: (218) 387-3620
    • Fax: (218) 387-3020
    • Mail:  Cook County Public Health and Human Services

411 W. 2nd Street Grand Marais, MN 55604

  • A drop box is also located on the ramp on the north end of the Cook County courthouse.

Other Available Assistance Programs:

  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) authorizes stimulus payments to be made to many people in the U.S. Payments will be distributed beginning in mid-April and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. The payments are available to many people, even those who do not make enough money to file taxes. Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take any action; and they will receive their payment directly to their bank account. The amount of these payments varies depending on your one’s financial situation. The IRS will update this page as more information becomes available. You can also find more information and FAQs here.

For more information on other community organizations and non-profit agencies that can provide help during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Cook County COVID-19 Hub provides current and accurate information, maps and resources about the community wide response to the coronavirus. Information shared here is compiled from a variety of sources. The Health and Community Service Agency map includes information on local non-profits and service agencies that can provide support in the areas of food and nutrition, health and wellness, mental health, transportation, senior services and more. This information is also available by calling Cook County PHHS and requesting a printed copy of the Cook County Services Directory, a guide compiled by Cook County PHHS that includes information on local food shelves, financial resources and supports, and other services.