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Independence topics:

PCA services


A personal care assistant (PCA) helps with daily living tasks, such as eating, bathing, using the bathroom and getting dressed. Sometimes, a PCA may cook and do light cleaning. A PCA can help you live as independently as you want. The specific services you get from a PCA depend on your assessment results.

In this section, see common questions about PCA services. 

You can hire your own PCAs if you're using PCA Choice or you're eligible for a waiver and are using consumer-directed community supports (CDCS). To find PCAs, create an account at Direct Support Connect.

Under traditional PCA services, a PCA may not provide services to a person if they are the

  • Spouse
  • Parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of a minor
  • Paid legal guardian

However, you may be allowed to be a PCA to your spouse or child if they have been approved for services in one of these programs:

To become a PCA, you must complete a PCA training course and pass a one-time online test offered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. When you pass the test, you'll receive a PCA certificate (which you should keep as proof of passing the PCA test). Get the details on PCA training. If you're interested in additional training, you can take online classes through the College of Direct Support.

When you're ready to look for PCA work, go to Direct Support Connect. Here, you'll find people who are looking for PCAs. If the person is associated with a provider agency, you may need to enroll with the agency. You can also apply directly to provider agencies. Check MinnesotaHelp to find PCA provider agencies.

You'll need to pass a background check before you can be paid to provide PCA services. If you enroll with a provider agency, the agency may require additional training.

Community First Services and Supports (CFSS) is a Minnesota health care program that offers flexible options to meet the unique needs of people. It allows for greater independence in their homes and communities. 

CFSS will replace personal care assistance (PCA) and the Consumer Support Grant (CSG).

For additional information about CFSS, visit the Community First Services and Supports Top Topic.