Personal Care Attendant

Services Provided

The Personal Care Attendant (PCA) program provides support to eligible persons with disabilities, and the elderly. PCA services are for people who need help with day-to-day assistance in meeting their personal care needs.

Recipients must have an assessment for PCA services by an assessor through a lead agency (a county, tribal government, or managed care organization). A Public Health Nurse conducts an assessment to determine program eligibility and needed services. During the assessment, the assessor determines if:
  • The recipient is able to direct his/her own care, or needs a responsible party (RP) to act on their behalf
  • A need for PCA services exists; or if PCA services are the appropriate service to meet the recipient's assessed needs.

PCA Agency List

View a listing of available PCA agencies.


PCA services are available to persons covered by Medical Assistance. PCA services are participant center. Anyone on Medical Assistance can request an assessment be completed. The Public Health Nurse (PHN) has 30 days from request date to complete the assessment.

PCA services are available to persons enrolled in the following programs:
  • Alternative Care (AC) program
  • Community Alternative Care (CAC) waiver
  • Community Alternatives for Disabled individuals (CADI) waiver
  • Developmental Disability (DD) waiver
  • Elderly waiver (EW)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) waiver


If a person is covered by Medical Assistance and is on a Prepaid Medical Plan (PMAP) such as Blue Plus, Medica, or UCare, the County PHN will do the assessment if requested to do so by PMAP.

In order to access PCA services, a person must need hands-on assistance with two of the following activities of daily living (ADLs):
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Mobility
  • Positioning
  • Toileting
  • Transferring

After the Assessment

If PCA services are assessed to be appropriate, most MHCP recipients have flexible use of their PCA services, allowing them to use the assessed services how and when they want within a six-month period. The recipient/RP also chooses whether they want to receive either or both of the following:
  • The PCA Choice option, which allows the recipient to decide which direct care staff will be providing the services
  • The shared service option for PCA services, which allows the recipient to receive services from the same individual PCA, at the same time and in the same setting as another recipient receiving PCA services
Recipients/RPs must also select the MHCP-enrolled PCA provider agency they want to provide their PCA services. When the recipient selects the PCA Choice option, they must select an agency enrolled specifically to provider PCA Choice services.

You may view a list of PCA Providers for the Itasca County Area (PDF).

Non-Eligible Persons & Activities

PCA is not the appropriate services for individuals requesting assistance with:
  • Homemaking
  • Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Running errands
Individuals needing assistance for these type of activities will need to have an intake completed for waiver services.

A PCA is not available to:
  • Foster parent of a child
  • Paid guardian
  • Parent or stepparent of a minor child
  • Recipient of PCA services, themselves
  • Spouse of the recipients

PCA assessments can be requested by: