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What Are PCA Services?

Personal care assistance services help a person with day-to-day activities in their home and community. PCAs help people with activities of daily living, health-related procedures and tasks, and observation and redirection of behaviors and instrumental activities of daily living for adults. PCA services are available to eligible individuals enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program.

How Is a Need for PCA Services Determined?

You must have an assessment of your needs to see if PCA services are right for you. An assessor visits your home and reviews your daily needs and health.

How Do I Schedule an Assessment?

Depending on what health care program you are with, different people do the assessment. If you are on state plan Medical Assistance; are receiving a waiver; or on Alternative Care, you must contact local county agency or tribe.​ If you are enrolled in health plan, you must contact your health plan member services.

Your assessment should happen within 30 days of contacting one of the above agencies.

Do I Need a Responsible Party?

If you are under 18 years old or need help directing your own care, you need a responsible party. The responsible party has to attend all of your assessments. 

What Can I Expect at the Assessment?

An assessor visits your home and reviews your daily needs and health. During the evaluation, the assessor completes the PCA Assessment and Service Plan DHS-3244 (PDF). The assessment takes about one hour and includes questions:

  • To see if you need a responsible party

  • About the types of help you need on an average day

  • About your medications

  • About your health

  • About your behavior

If PCA services are right for you, the assessor will ask if you are interested in:

The assessor will also let you know about a variety of other programs and services that may help you. You are responsible for following up on the assessor's suggestions.

What Happens After the Assessment?

How Often Do I Need an Assessment?

A new assessment is needed yearly, or when your health changes. Contact your assessor or your qualified professional if you have a significant change in your health.

If I disagree with my assessment/re-assessment results, how can I appeal?

You may appeal a decision about your authorization for services or total units. Details about appeal procedures are included in the service agreement letter.

Who can be a Personal Care Assistant?

​A PCA can be a family member or friend of the consumer, but must complete the necessary background check and hiring processes. A personal care assistant may not be the:

  • Paid legal guardian of an adult

  • Legal guardian of a minor

  • Parent or stepparent of a minor child recipient

  • Recipient of PCA services

  • Responsible party of a recipient

  • Spouse of a recipient

A PCA is limited to providing and being paid for up to 310 hours per month of PCA regardless of the number of recipients being served or the number of PCA provider agencies enrolled with. See Minn. Stat. § 256B.0659, subd. 11 for more detailed information regarding PCA requirements. 

Majority of information retrieved from on March 28, 2019. 

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