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Existing Supports and Services to Help Your Daughter or Son Live Independently

A wide variety of services and supports exist to enable a person with disabilities to live independently. The philosophy of supported living is that no matter where an individual lives, services and supports can be matched to their needs. They can vary in amount, frequency, and duration. In order to access these services, you must apply for case management through your county social services department. Case management is defined as “identifying the need for, seeking out, acquiring, authorizing, coordinating, and monitoring the delivery of services to, and protecting the rights of, persons with disabilities by an individual designated by the county board.” Case managers are sometimes called county social workers. Not everyone is eligible for case management and certain services do not require case management

In order to start the process, you must ask for a MnCHOICES assessment by a certified assessor. MnCHOICES is a new single comprehensive assessment tool that uses the person-centered planning approach to help make decisions about services and supports. It includes a person-centered assessment of the health, psychological, functional, environmental, and social needs of the individual based on their needs, strengths and preferences.

If outside assessments by licensed practitioners are necessary, the case manager will arrange for them with your approval, or that of your son or daughter if he or she is 18 or older and not under guardianship. When you request an assessment or reassessment on behalf of your son or daughter for a Home and Community- Based Waiver, personal care services, or home care nursing, you must be visited by a long-term consultation team within 20 calendar days after the date following your request. The long-term care consultation team members will include a certified assessor, social worker, or a public health nurse. It is important to remember that the timelines stated in law are associated with the screening process. Services are generally provided to individuals with developmental disabilities or mental health who meet the county’s eligibility criteria.

After the county assesses your son or daughter’s individual needs,  a service plan is developed with your input. Depending on what services he or she qualifies for, the plan name will differ. Common plan names are the Coordinated Services and Supports Plan and the Addendum (CSSP & CSSP Addendum), Personal Care Service Plan, and Individual Family Community Support Plan  (IFCSP). The plan is developed with your daughter or son’s or your  input.

It may be easier to apply during the high school years because counties usually provide case management and other services to ensure an uninterrupted and successful movement from school to the community. A case manager can help the family understand timelines for various funding sources. Formal supports like Respite, Personal Care Assistance (PCA) services, Private Duty Nursing services, Home Health Care services, Home and Community- Based Waiver programs, Homemaker services, In-Home Family Support Services, Housing Access Coordination, and 24-hour Emergency Assistance require you to apply for case management through your county social services division. Following the application process, disability related eligibility will determine the services you can access. The county looks at an individual’s income level, assets, age, and if he or she is blind or has another disability.

Most providers must be licensed by a state’s Department of Health or Department of Human Services. Programs have specific criteria, rules, and regulations that must be followed.

Personal Care Assistance (PCA)

Personal Care Assistance (PCA) services help a person with day- to-day activities in their home and community. PCAs help people with activities of daily living, health-related procedures and tasks, observation and redirection of behaviors, and instrumental activities of daily living for adults. It is available to eligible people enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program.

Independent Living Skills (ILS)

Independent Living Skills training (ILS training) are services that develop, maintain, and improve the community living skills of a person. ILS is direct training from a staff person to address the identified skill development needs of a person in the areas of: Communication skills, community living and mobility, interpersonal skills, reduction or elimination of maladaptive behavior, self-care, and sensory or motor development involved in acquiring functional skills. It is available to those on a Medicaid Home and Community- Based Waiver.

Semi-Independent Living Services (SILS)

Semi-Independent Living Services (SILS) are services that provide activities, recreation, training, and support. Individuals who qualify for SILS require less than a 24-hour care plan. For example, some individuals may need assistance in one area, such as money management. Other services provided by SILS may include training and assistance in preparing meals, shopping, personal appearance and hygiene, and other activities to maintain and improve a person’s capacity to live in the community. A goal of SILS is to support people so they can achieve personally-desired outcomes and lead self-directed lives. To qualify for services, your son or daughter must have a county developmental disabilities social worker. The county in which your child lives will pay for the service if there is money available. Each county has limited funds, so you may need to wait for services even if your child is eligible. Some families choose to pay for this service themselves.

In-Home Family Support Services

In-Home Family Support Services are provided to a person and his or her family, including extended family members in the family’s home or in the community. These services enable the person to remain in, or return to, his or her home. They include training of the person and their family members so the family can increase their capabilities to care for and maintain the person in their home. To receive in-home supports, your son or daughter needs to live with your family, receive Medical Assistance or waivered services, and have a county social worker.

Individualized Home Supports

Individualized Home Supports are services providing support and training in community living service categories for people 18 years or older who live in their own homes. Individualized home supports can be provided in the person’s own home or in public community settings, either in person or remotely. The services can include the need for both training and support, i.e., direct supervision, cueing, maintenance, guidance, instruction, incidental assistance with activities of daily living, or assistance with coordination of community living activities.

Supported Living Services (SLS)

Supported Living Services (SLS) help people who require daily staff intervention due to lack of general survival skills. Individuals who receive SLS services in a residential setting require a 24-hour plan of care. Support for medical conditions, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, and challenging behaviors are included. To qualify for services, an individual must be on the waiver program. People of all ages, with developmental disabilities, who have a county social worker, and are on Medical Assistance, can participate.


Respite services offer relief to a family member or main caregiver and are available to individuals with disabilities living in their own homes. Your son or daughter may stay at home or go to another home to receive services. You need to have a county social worker and be screened and eligible to receive services.

Home Care Services

Home care services provide medical- and health-related services and assistance with day-to-day activities to people in their home. It can be used to provide short-term care for people moving from a hospital or nursing home back to their home, or to provide continuing care to people with ongoing needs. Home care services may also be provided outside the person’s residence when normal life activities take them into the community. Medical Assistance covers the following home care services: Equipment and supplies, such as wheelchairs and diabetic supplies; home health aide; personal care assistance; private duty nursing; skilled nursing, either face-to-face or via tele-home care technology; and therapies (occupational, physical, respiratory, and speech).

Consumer Support Grant (CSG)

The Consumer Support Grant (CSG) program is a state-funded alternative to Medicaid home care services of home health aide, personal care assistance, and/or private duty nursing.

The CSG program provides consumers with greater flexibility and freedom of choice in service selection, payment rates, service delivery specifications, and employment of service providers. Parents, spouses, family members, trusted neighbors, or friends can be paid for service, along with employees of home care provider agencies.

Family Support Grant (FSG)

The Family Support Grant (FSG) program provides a limited number of state cash grants to a certain number of families of children with certified disabilities. The goal of the program is to prevent or delay out-of-home placement of children with disabilities, and promote family health and social well-being by facilitating access to family- centered services and supports.

Adult Rehabilitative Health Services (ARMHS)

Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services (ARMHS) are adult mental health services designed to maintain psychiatric stability enabling the person to develop social competencies, enhance personal and emotional adjustment, and improve independent living and community skills, when these abilities are impaired by the symptoms of mental illness. Services offered under ARHMS include skill development in interpersonal communication, relapse prevention, budgeting and shopping, cooking and nutrition, mental health awareness, medication monitoring, transportation, employment, and transition to community living. An eligible recipient is a Medical Assistance-eligible individual who is age 18 or older; is diagnosed with a medical condition, such as mental illness or traumatic brain injury, for which adult rehabilitative mental health services are needed; has substantial disability and functional impairment in three or more areas, so that self-sufficiency is markedly reduced; and has had a recent diagnostic assessment by a qualified professional that documents adult rehabilitative mental health services are medically necessary to address identified disability and functional impairments and individual recipient goals.

Housing Stabilization Services

Housing Stabilization Services is a new Minnesota Medical Assistance benefit to help people 18 years or older with disabilities, including mental illness and substance use disorder, and seniors find and keep housing. The purpose of these services is to support an individual's transition into housing, increase long-term stability in housing in the community and avoid future periods of homelessness or institutionalization.

Eligible individuals are: aged blind, or disabled as describe under Title II of the Social Security Act (SSI/SSDI) and people determined by a medical professional to have any of the following conditions: long-term injury or illness, mental illness, developmental disability, learning disability, substance use disorder.

Housing Stabilization Services consists of three main categories:

  • Housing Consultation are services that assist a person, who does not have Medicaid funded case management services, in developing a housing-focused person-centered plan , to assist the person to access needed state plan services that support housing stability and provide referrals or information about to other needed services.* Some services include: identifying a person’s strengths, needs and wants in housing including cultural requirements and/or preferences, supporting them to make an informed choice in their housing transition/sustaining provider, coordinating with other service providers currently working with the person, offering resource information including understanding their rights around privacy and appeals information.
    * This service shall not duplicate other services or assistance
  • Housing Transition are services that assist a person to plan for, find, and move to a home in the community. Some services include, developing a housing transition plan, applying for benefits to afford their housing including developing a budget, assist with the housing search and application process, tenant screening, negotiating the lease and building a relationship with prospective landlords, identifying resources to pay for deposits, moving expenses and home goods as well as arranging for adaptive house related accommodations required by the person and arranging for assistive technology.
  • Housing Sustaining are services that supports a person to maintain living in their home in the community. Some services include, developing, updating and modifying the housing support and crisis/safety plan on a regular basis, Preventing and early identification of behaviors that may jeopardize continued housing including advocating with community resources to prevent eviction when housing is at risk and maintain person’s safety, coaching to develop and maintain key relationships with property managers and neighbors, including landlords to promote and support cultural practice needs and understandings and supporting the person to apply for benefits to retain housing.

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