The State of Minnesota has several policies and programs designed to help older adults and persons with disabilities live in community settings rather than in institutions. The Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, is one such program and is an important part of the State’s efforts to assist individuals to live in the community. The program started in 1978 when Minnesota added PCA Services to the State’s Medical Assistance program.

PCA Services are a type of Home Health Care Service that helps people in Minnesota with their non-medical health related needs. The goal of Personal Care Assistant Services as with other Home Care Services is to help people live independently in their own homes and in the community as opposed to a facility. PCA Services are available to individuals of all ages with special health care needs and are a paid benefit under Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. PCA services can be provided through the fee-for-service program, Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver programs, or through prepaid health plans (UCare, Etc.).

 PCA Services help people with:

1. Activities of Daily Living including eating, toileting, grooming, dressing, bathing, transferring, mobility, and positioning.
2. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living including meal planning and preparation, managing money, shopping for essential items, performing essential household chores, communicating by telephone and other media and getting around and participating in the community.
3. Health Related Functions such as range of motion exercises, seizure intervention, or ventilator suctioning; and
4. Redirection and intervention for behavior including observation and monitoring.

Who is eligible for pca services? 

To be eligible to receive PCA Services, you must:

1. Live in Minnesota;
2. Be eligible to receive Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare;
3. Be able to make decisions about your own care or have someone who can make decisions for you; and
4. Meet with a Public Health Nurse (PHN) from your county to have a PCA Assessment; and
5. Need “constant supervision” or “hands on assistance” to complete at least 1 ADL or have Level 1 Behavior.

What happens at the PCA assessment?

At the PCA Assessment a Public Health Nurse (PHN) will ask you questions and observe you to determine your need for PCA Services. As mentioned above, in order to qualify for services you need to be “dependent” in at least 1 Activity of Daily Living (ADL) or have Level 1 behavior. If you need assistance with several ADLs you will get more help than if you need assistance with 1 or 2 ADLs. If you need assistance with critical ADLs (eating, transfers, mobility and toileting) you will get more help than if you need assistance with Non-Critical ADLs (grooming, dressing, bathing, positioning).


In Minnesota you have the option of choosing your own caregivers  including your friends and family members. That way you can be sure your care is being provided by someone you already know and trust. According to the National Center on Caregiving, most care in the U.S. is provided by friends or relatives.

How do I get started?

Getting PCA Services started is easy!

1. Contact your county Human Services so can determine your program eligibility;
2.At the assessment a nurse will determine how many hours of service you are eligible to receive.
3. We train and hire the caregiver.

Minnesota Department of Human Services Assessment for PCA Services