About DHS

The Minnesota Department of Human Services provides Minnesotans with a variety of services intended to help people live as independently as possible.


Public participation

DHS invites client, stakeholder and citizen involvement in its initiatives and proposed program changes. The following are current opportunities for participation.

Circle of Excellence Awards seeking nominations

Nominations are being accepted for the annual Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards, which recognize excellence among human services providers, counties, tribes, advocacy groups and other organizations that work in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Human Services to help people meet their basic needs so they can live in dignity and achieve their highest potential. Nominations are being accepted through 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29. For each nomination, fill out the Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards Nomination form (PDF). Circle of Excellence Award winners for 2013 are highlighted in a news release and in short videos on the DHS website.

Comment period open for MinnesotaCare moving to Basic Health Plan funding and authorization

Federal authority to operate MinnesotaCare will transition from Medicaid to the new Basic Health Plan (BHP) authority implemented in the Affordable Care Act Jan. 1, 2015. DHS is seeking comments on the  BHP Blueprint Discussion Draft  (PDF). The draft outlines Minnesota’s proposed policy choices for MinnesotaCare related to eligibility, benefits and cost-sharing, service delivery, operations and fund management. DHS will use this draft to begin the review process with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). DHS will add sections related to covered services, program integrity and financing after Aug. 1, 2014.

As an aid to commenters, DHS is also posting an overview of the BHP Discussion Draft (PDF), the discussion draft  Table of Exhibits (PDF) and a copy of the Basic Health Plan Final Policy Rule (PDF).

Submit comments to Mark.Siegel@state.mn.us by 4 p.m. Central Standard Time, Aug. 22, 2014.  DHS will make appropriate changes, add sections related to covered services, program integrity and financing and post the revised draft for additional comments in September.

Public comment period on proposed CFSS 1915(b)(4) Waiver

DHS announces a public comment period on the proposed Community First Services and Supports, 1915(b)(4) Waiver. If federally approved, the 1915 (b)(4) waiver would allow DHS to selectively contract for two types of service providers to support individuals in the new Community First Services and Supports program (CFSS).

DHS is accepting comments from 8 a.m. Monday, July 7, through 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Email comments in response to this waiver to DSD.PublicComments@state.mn.us no later than 4 p.m., CT, Wednesday Aug. 13, 2014.

View the official announcement in the Minnesota State Register, Monday, July 7, 2014, Page 7 (PDF). View the draft of the proposed CFSS waiver language (PDF).

There was an issue with the link to the draft language not posting in the Register. DHS is republishing the notice in the July 14 issue of the State Register and extending the date that comments are due to Aug. 13, 2014.

Public comment period on draft Employment First Policy

Minnesota's Olmstead Plan directs the state to adopt an Employment First Policy and use the policy and principles in the future design and delivery of services. This is the responsibility of the Minnesota Olmstead Sub-cabinet.

As a first step, the Minnesota Employment Learning Community is asked to discuss strategies that adopt Employment First principles, informed choice and support of job seekers who choose work.

The Minnesota Learning Community, sponsored by the Minnesota departments of Human Services; Employment and Economic Development; and Education, is seeking public comment on a DRAFT Employment First Policy (PDF) for the sub-cabinet to consider. This policy is:

DHS is receiving comments from 8 a.m. on Monday, July 7, 2014, through 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Submit comments on the draft to DSD.PublicComments@state.mn.us no later than 4 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2014. View a copy of the draft on the ELC Web page.

Sex Offender Civil Commitment Advisory Task Force

The Sex Offender Civil Commitment Advisory Task Force was created to examine and provide Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson with recommendations on the processes relating to the civil commitment of sex offenders in Minnesota.

Advisory groups

Many advisory committees provide expertise and input on a regular basis to help DHS create and implement program changes. Most committees are comprised of members from outside DHS. A complete list of DHS advisory committees is online.


DHS welcomes volunteer help on an ongoing basis at Forensic Services in St. Peter.

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