Skip to main content
March 3, 2023

A new Frontline Worker Pay report details the program results and how four Minnesota state agencies worked in collaboration to quickly distribute equal payments from the available $500 million to Minnesota workers who worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency and applied and met all eligibility requirements. The Frontline Worker Pay effort was led by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) after the law was signed by Gov. Tim Walz on April 29, 2022; by Oct. 5, roughly five months later, payments of $487.45 had been distributed to more than one million Minnesota workers.

"I'm grateful for the work Minnesotans did to help people across our state stay healthy and safe through the COVID-19 pandemic," said Gov. Walz. "Frontline workers are an important part of the fabric of our state and I'm proud of the countless state employees who helped create, implement and report out the success of this program in record time."

"Frontline workers deserve our thanks and I'm proud of the work our state agencies have done to help make this program a reality," said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. "These payments provided well-deserved and long-awaited recognition to so many frontline workers who made extraordinary sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic."

"This report highlights the incredible work that went into creating and implementing a successful Frontline Worker Pay program, which ultimately accepted, processed and verified almost 1.2 million applications and distributed $500 million in direct payments to workers in under six months," said DLI Commissioner Nicole Blissenbach. "I am proud of the dedication of the highly effective cross-agency teams and recognition we were able to provide to so many frontline workers who served Minnesotans across the state during the pandemic."

About the report

The report provides not only the legislatively required information, it also explains each aspect of the program and gives a full picture of the effort and achievements of the Frontline Worker Pay program. It outlines how the specific processes for the application, application review, appeals, appeal review, final determinations and payments were put in place to thwart those fraudulently applying, while ensuring eligible applicants could easily navigate the processes and, if needed, get their questions answered.

Efforts are also detailed about outreach and communication to possible eligible applicants and how DLI connected with worker groups, employers, organizations and coalitions that spread the word and helped workers apply.

Interagency effort

The Frontline Worker Pay program was led by DLI, in close collaboration with the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Department of Revenue (DOR) and Minnesota IT Services (MNIT).

"The Department of Revenue is thankful to the more than one million Minnesotans who worked on the frontlines during the height of the pandemic and we were honored to help recognize them with these payments," said DOR Commissioner Paul Marquart. "Our team worked swiftly with our state agency partners to ensure these payments were made as quickly and as accurately as possible."

"MNIT was proud to be a part of the extraordinary collaboration of the Frontline Worker Pay program, working across agencies to ensure the secure and timely distribution of these funds to the workers who stood at the frontlines of the pandemic response," said MNIT Commissioner and State Chief Information Officer Tarek Tomes. "With clear goals, a commitment to excellence and data-driven decision-making, the teams identified and fixed obstacles that could have prevented workers from receiving the payments they were entitled to under the law."

"Minnesotans who provided medical care, ensured public health and safety, taught our kids and kept Minnesota homes stocked with food and other essentials during the darkest days of the pandemic are true heroes," said DEED Deputy Commissioner Evan Rowe. "DEED is proud to have played a role in cross-agency efforts to get checks out the door to our fellow Minnesotans on the frontlines during the early days of COVID-19."

Media contact:  James Honerman at 651-284-5314 or