Minnesotans working in North Dakota left out of MN Hero Pay

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 10:35 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2022 at 5:37 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - If you live in Minnesota but work in North Dakota, you do not qualify for Minnesota Hero Pay.

Hero Pay was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, giving frontline workers in certain essential jobs a bonus check courtesy of the state.

However, for people living in border cities like Moorhead, there’s a catch. Hero Pay will not be paid out to people who worked in North Dakota but live in Minnesota.

For example, if a nurse lives in Moorhead but works at the hospital in Fargo, he/she would not qualify for the Frontline Worker Pay. If that same nurse worked at the clinic in Moorhead, they would then qualify for the check.

Paul Little is one of the many left out of Hero Pay due to the rule, but is speaking out on the mistake in hopes of sparking change from Governor Tim Walz’s office.

An RN at the VA in Fargo for 31 years, Little recently hung up his scrubs up for good last October. Before the VA, Little was a nurse in the Army, as well as at the State Hospital in Jamestown. While Little says he has seen it all, he still wasn’t prepared for the chaos that would ensue starting in March 2020.

“It was hard seeing some patients would recover and others would go down fast. That was tough emotionally,” Little said.

So, when Little saw Minnesota’s Hero Pay program come to fruition earlier this spring, like many others, he was intrigued in cashing in on his hard work on the frontlines.

“The job that we did was very important and I’m proud of what we did,” he said.

However, when little applied, he was told he’s not eligible.

“And so I kinda thought, ‘Well, this doesn’t seem quite right,’” he said. “The border cities have been left out. They were forgotten about.”

Little says there’s dozens of healthcare workers who live on his side of the river, but work in North Dakota that deserve a check just as much as the rest. He says he hopes bringing attention to the mistake prompts someone to correct it quickly. He says he also plans to reach out to Walz’s office after the holiday weekend, and urges other healthcare workers to as well.

The state is giving out $750 checks to people with an income of less than $175,000 or to couples with an income of less than $350,000, who worked in certain professions during the height of the pandemic.

To see if you qualify for the bonus money, you can find the application here.

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