Personal care assistance (PCA) program

What is the personal care assistance program?

The personal care assistance program provides services to persons who need help with day-to-day activities to allow them be more independent in their own home. A personal care assistant is an individual trained to help persons with basic daily routines. A PCA may be able to help you if you have a physical, emotional or mental disability, a chronic illness or an injury.

Who is eligible for the personal care assistance program?

To be eligible for the personal care assistance program, a person must meet all these criteria:

  • • Be eligible to receive Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare Expanded (pregnant women and children)
  • • Require services that are medically necessary and ordered by a physician
  • • Be able to make decisions about your own care or have someone who can make decisions for you
  • What services can a personal care assistant provide?

    Personal care assistance services must be medically necessary and ordered by a physician. A person must need help to complete activities of daily living, have health-related tasks or need observation and redirection of behavior to use these four categories of services:

  • • Activities of daily living (includes eating, toileting, grooming, dressing, bathing, transferring, mobility and positioning)
  • • Complex health-related functions (includes, under state law, functions that can be delegated or assigned by a licensed health care professional to be performed by a personal care assistant)
  • • Instrumental activities of daily living (includes meal planning and preparation, managing finances, shopping for essential items, performing essential household chores, communication by telephone and other media and getting around and participating in the community)
  • • Observation and redirection of behavior (includes monitoring of behavior)
  • How can I get personal care assistance services?

    Call your county public health nurse to arrange for an assessment and learn more about PCA options available, including types of agencies that provide personal care assistance services and how to hire your own staff.

    For more information, contact your local county agency (PDF). If you are enrolled in a prepaid health plan, contact your health plan for specific instructions.

    Additional resources

    Find more information in the personal care assistance website.

    Let us know if you are unable to find information about Disability Services Division programs and services. E-mail

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