Miscellaneous Issues Surrounding Domestic Abuse in Minnesota

Insurance practices

It is an unfair method of competition and an unfair and deceptive act or practice to refuse to offer, sell, or renew coverage, limit coverage, or charge a rate different from that normally charged for the same coverage under a life insurance policy or health plan because the applicant who is also the proposed insured has been or is a victim of domestic abuse.

An insurer, however, may underwrite a risk on the basis of the physical or mental history of an individual if the insurer does not take into consideration whether the individual’s condition was caused by an act of domestic abuse. Minn. Stat. § 72A.20, subd. 8.

Unemployment benefits

An applicant who quit employment is disqualified from all unemployment benefits except under certain circumstances. One of these circumstances includes when the applicant or the applicant’s minor child was a victim of domestic abuse, and the abuse necessitated the applicant’s quitting employment. Domestic abuse may be shown by one or more of the following: an OFP, a police record, a conviction record, medical documentation, or a written statement provided by a social worker, clergy member, shelter worker, attorney, or other professional who assisted the applicant in dealing with the abuse. Minn. Stat. § 268.095.

Minnesota family investment program (MFIP)

A victim of family violence is exempt from the 60-month limit on cash assistance if the caregiver qualifies for a family violence waiver and complies with his or her employment plan. In order to qualify for a family violence waiver, an individual must provide documentation of past or current family violence that may prevent the individual from participating in certain employment activities. Upon qualification, the participant must develop or revise an employment plan that takes into account family violence issues and seeks to ensure the safety of the caregiver and children. County agencies must notify all applicants and recipients of MFIP of the family violence waiver. In addition, counties must ensure that domestic violence victims have access to persons trained in domestic violence. Minn. Stat. §§ 256J.08; 256J.42, subd. 4; 256J.50, subds. 10 and 12; 256J.521, subd. 3; and 256J.545.

This and any related posts have been adopted from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s Information Brief, Domestic Abuse Laws in Minnesota – An Overview, written by legislative analyst Judith Zollar.

This post is also part of a series of posts on Domestic Abuse in Minnesota.

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