PCA Change to CFSS

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is preparing to transition from personal care assistance (PCA) to community first services and supports (CFSS). Both PCA and CFSS provide supports to people to help them remain independent in the community.

CFSS will be similar to PCA in many ways. People eligible for PCA will also be eligible for CFSS. CFSS will cover services covered by PCA. For more details, see How is CFSS similar to PCA? in the Frequently asked questions below.

CFSS will expand people’s choices about how they receive their services, including who can provide services, additional support for writing plans, more self-direction options and the ability to purchase goods to aid a person’s independence. For more details, see How is CFSS different from PCA? in the Frequently asked questions below.

DHS must finish updating our computer system for CFSS and obtain federal approval. There will be public comment periods when DHS submits Minnesota’s plans for CFSS to the federal government.

The Consumer Support Grant (CSG) will also transition to CFSS. DHS will issue more information on this transition in the future. For more information, see What will the transition look like for people who use the Consumer Support Grant? in the Frequently asked questions below.

Frequently asked questions

  • The eligibility requirements for CFSS will be the same as PCA. The person must:

    • Live in his or her own home
    • Be able to direct care or have a representative who can direct care on his/her behalf
    • Be on one of Minnesota’s health care programs
    • Have an assessment that determines he/she is eligible.

    CFSS will cover the same main services as PCA:

    • Activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, grooming and transferring
    • Health-related tasks
    • Instrumental activities of daily living, such as shopping, cooking, laundry and assistance with medications
    • Observation and redirection of behavior.
  • People who use CFSS will have more options and supports:

    • Unlike PCA, in CFSS a person’s spouse or the parent of a minor may serve as that person’s support worker.
    • People may choose to purchase goods to aid in their independence.
    • The CFSS budget model allows people to choose to be the employer of their support workers.
    • The state provides a budget that the provider agency or the person may use to train workers on the individual needs of the person.
    • The consultation services provider will provide education and support in writing the person’s plan.

    Service delivery models

    CFSS will have two service delivery models, the agency provider model and the budget model. In both models, the person:

    • Directs care
    • Has a say in selecting his/her worker, including the person’s spouse or the parent of a minor
    • Writes the plan with assistance from the consultation services provider as desired
    • May purchase goods.

    In the agency provider model, the person selects an agency that serves as the workers’ employer. This means the agencies will recruit, hire, train, supervise and pay CFSS support workers.

    In the budget model, CFSS participants are the employers of their own support workers. They will have a budget rather than service units. Participants will recruit, hire, train and supervise their support workers. The person will select a financial management services (FMS) provider to help the person comply with applicable laws.

  • When Minnesota gets final federal approval for CFSS, DHS will provide information about the transition plans and time frame. DHS will transition people gradually over the course of the year to ensure no disruption of services. As implementation approaches, DHS will communicate with people who provide and receive PCA services.

  • In the CFSS budget model, people who use CSG will get a budget to spend on goods and services covered by CFSS. People who use CSG may also choose to use the agency model. Currently, a person’s CSG budget is equivalent to half of the PCA units for which the person’s assessment found him/her eligible. This is because Minnesota does not get federal funding for CSG. In CFSS, a former CSG participant will have access to dollars or units roughly equivalent to twice his or her budget in CSG.

  • DHS is not enrolling CFSS agencies currently.

    If you own a PCA agency, you will need to complete an online training on the differences between the two programs. DHS has not posted this training yet.

    As the implementation date approaches, DHS will stop enrolling new PCA agencies and start enrolling new CFSS agencies. The basic requirements to become a CFSS agency will be the same as the basic requirements to become a PCA agency.

  • All FMS providers must have a contract with DHS. Current FMS providers successfully responded to DHS’s request for proposals (RFP) and currently provide FMS services in other DHS programs. DHS will issue additional requests for proposals in the future. Existing and new FMS providers may apply at that time.

  • All consultation services providers must have a contract with DHS. DHS will issue an RFP in the future. Agencies who wish to provide consultation services may apply at that time.

  • The 24-member CFSS Implementation Council meets quarterly at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building, 540 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55101, in March, June, September and December. Meetings are open to the public. We will post agendas to this page before each meeting.

    2020 meeting schedule:

    • June 15, 10 a.m. to noon, Room 2370
    • Sept. 21, 1 to 3 p.m., Room 2380
    • Dec. 21, 1 to 3 p.m., Room 2370

    For information about the implementation council, see the Minnesota Secretary of State’s webpage for the CFSS implementation council.

    The public is welcome to attend and observe implementation council meetings. To sign up for email notifications about council meetings, use this online form

    Closer to implementation, DHS will have public comment periods for various aspects of program implementation.

  • Email us at DHS.CFSS@state.mn.us.

  • DHS has prepared two trainings for people who want to learn more about CFSS.

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