Diversionary Work Program (DWP)

The Diversionary Work Program (DWP) is a four-month program that helps Minnesota parents find jobs. The goal is to help parents quickly find work so that they do not need to go on the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). When families first apply for cash assistance, most will be enrolled in this program.

Eligibility & Requirements

This program is for families with children or pregnant women. Most people are on this program for four months. To qualify, you must meet the:

  • Income limit
  • Asset limit of $10,000
  • Provide needed verifications
  • Applicants that have a convicted drug felony from within the recent 10 years will be subject to an initial and random ongoing drug testing.
  • Comply with child support requirements: A child support referral is sent for each child on an approved DWP case where both parents are not in the home. 
    • A referral will not be sent if Good Cause has been established. Your worker can tell you more.

Asset Limit

  • The asset limit is $10,000. The total value of your counted assets must be less than $10,000.
  • Assets counted include cash, bank accounts, stocks and bonds you can access without financial penalty, and some vehicles. 
  • We do not count one vehicle per member of the assistance unit who is 16 years old or older. Additional vehicles are counted as part of the $10,000 asset limit.

Employment Services

All parents, including both parents in a two-parent family, must develop and sign an employment plan before your family is approved for DWP. Your employment plan will consider the type of work you can do and what best meets your family situation.

You must cooperate with your employment plan and the child support office to stay on the program.


You must seek full-time work immediately if you are approved for this program. You will get employment services that include:

  • Help finding work that fits your employment plan
  • Help identifying and dealing with family issues that may prevent or delay you from getting a job
  • Limited training that you can complete in four months or fewer.

Families may also get help paying for:

  • Housing costs
  • Utilities
  • personal needs

Often, rent and other bills are paid directly from a family's monthly benefit to the landlord or utility company, for example. Money left after those bills are paid can be used by families to pay for personal needs.


  • You can apply online at mnbenefits.mn.gov
  • Come into our agency located at 204 Laurel St. Brainerd, MN 56401 to pick up an application. Our agency is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Call our agency at 218-824-1250 to request a paper application be mailed to you.
  • Print an application and complete it by hand or complete it electronically and submit to our agency by one of the following methods: 

In person at 204 Laurel St. Brainerd, MN 56401

Mail to P.O. Box 686 Brainerd, MN 56401

Fax to 218-824-1141

Email to cwcss@crowwing.us

Put in our drop box located outside our agency

Combined Application Form DHS-5223

** Each case and client is different. This is just basic information. Verifications required vary on a case by case basis. Please check with your local County Financial Worker for case specific information.