Creating your best life.

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“You gain a sense of freedom when you have independence. You gain peace of mind. It says a lot when you can pave a path for yourself.”
– A Hub user

Independence topics:

Independent living

Learning new life skills can help you become more independent. With the right skills, you can feel confident and in control.

Personal care assistant (PCA) services are available to people who are eligible for Medical Assistance (MA). Get the basics on the PCA program from Housing Benefits 101. Understand the difference between Traditional PCA and PCA Choice on the PCA consumer information page.

If you aren't eligible for MA, you can receive home care services from licensed staff (such as nurses) or unlicensed staff (such as home health aides) under a home care license. Learn more with these frequently asked questions about home care and assisted living.

To understand your rights as a person getting services, check out:

To find PCAs, use Direct Support Connect — Minnesota's dedicated job board and hiring resource for direct support workers. Create a profile to search for available workers and list job postings. It's free and easy to use!

You can also:

  • Work with your provider agency to find workers
  • Talk to friends and family
  • Connect with organizations you trust in your community
  • Use social media

The Minnesota Department of Human Services requires PCAs to complete a training program and pass an online test.

If you're using Traditional PCA services, the provider agency you work with may require additional training.

If you're using PCA Choice or consumer-directed community supports, you can require additional training for the people you hire to help you.

If you're eligible for Medical Assistance (MA), a home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver helps pay for the services you need to live at home or in the community — rather than in a hospital, nursing facility or intermediate care facility. In most cases, MA doesn't provide services that help you live in the community. A waiver helps you get services wherever you choose to live.

Minnesota currently offers six different HCBS waiver programs. For details, check the programs tab on the Minnesota Department of Human Services HCBS waivers page.

Minnesota is in the process of reimagining HCBS waivers. Get an introduction to the changes with the short video (03:38) below. Get updates and provide feedback at the Waiver Reimagine page. 

Waiver Reimagine introduction
  • The Consumer Support Grant provides an alternative to certain Medicaid home care services (home care nursing, home health aides, personal care assistance).
  • The Family Support Grant helps families who have children with disabilities access disability services and supports while keeping children at home.
  • The Minnesota Microgrant Partnership offers grants to help people with disabilities reach goals around competitive employment, inclusive housing and community integration.

To find out if you qualify for PCA services, waivers or a support grant, you'll need a MnCHOICES assessment. To ask for an assessment, contact your county agency or tribe. Find phone numbers in this tribal and county directory

If you're interested only in PCA services and you have a managed health care plan, contact your health plan to request an assessment.

“” Key resource

Do you need a MnCHOICES assessment? Check out
Steps to get help — and what to expect during a MnCHOICES assessment »

Getting where you need — and want — to go is an important part of being independent and living your best life. You might get rides from a family member, friend, neighbor or coworker. Depending on where you live, you might call a taxi or use a ride share service (such as Uber or Lyft).

Other options include:

  • Your own vehicle. Driver evaluation and training for people with disabilities is available through Allina Health and Adaptive Experts. If you drive your own vehicle, apply for a disability parking certificate (PDF) or disability license plates.
  • Public transit. Check tools for riders for transit options in the metro area and greater Minnesota. Metro Mobility is a shared public transportation service for people with disabilities who are unable to use regular fixed-route buses.
  • Nonemergency medical transportation. If you have a Minnesota Health Care Program (MHCP), such as Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, you can work with your local county agency or tribe or your managed health care plan to set up routine medical transportation.

For more ideas, check out this comprehensive list of transportation resources from the Arc Minnesota.

Make a plan for staying safe at home, including what to do in case of emergency. To get started, use this personal safety worksheet (PDF). Print it out and fill in the blanks so that your most important information is handy during an emergency.

Next: Self-advocacy »