The 8.4 percent temporary increase applies to the service rate for personal care assistance (PCA) and budgets for Consumer Support Grant (CSG) and consumer directed community supports (CDCS). For more information, see:
With the additional funds the person/provider agency must:
The temporary increase was effective Dec. 1, 2020, and it expires on Feb. 7, 2021. (DHS received federal approval for this increase Dec. 8, 2020.)
The legislation that allows for the increase (Minnesota Session Laws, 2020, 5th Special Session, Ch. 3, Art. 10, Sect. 4) requires service providers to use at least 80 percent of the additional funds to increase wages, salaries and benefits for direct support workers and any corresponding increase in the employer’s share of FICA taxes, Medicare taxes, state/federal unemployment taxes and workers’ compensation premiums.
To make sure that questions reach the correct people, DHS offers several ways to reach us: A standard mail address, an email box and various telephone numbers.
If you have questions about the rate adjustments, mail letters to the following address. Be sure to include "PCA Temporary Rate Increase" in the address.
Minnesota Department of Human Services
Community Supports and Continuing Care for Older Adults
PCA Temporary Rate Increase
P.O. Box 64967
St. Paul, MN 55164-0967
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. DHS will direct the questions to the person who can best provide an answer.
If you have questions, you can call the DSD Response Center at 651-431-4300. DHS will direct the questions to the person who can best provide an answer.
Most of the telephone numbers listed are voice numbers. TDD users may call the Minnesota Relay at 711 or 800-627-3529. For the Speech-to-Speech Relay, call 877-627-3848.
Services provided by personal care assistants are eligible for the temporary 8.4 percent increase.
To implement the temporary change, DHS will apply the increase through claims for personal care services provided during the effective dates (Dec. 1, 2020 to Feb. 7, 2021). The PCA provider should continue to submit claims as normal (with no increase). DHS will add the 8.4 percent increase when it pays the claim.
The legislation that allows for the increase says all applicable service providers (as defined in Minnesota Session Laws, 2020, 5th Special Session, Ch. 3, Art. 10, Sect. 4) must develop and implement a distribution plan. The distribution plan must include, in detail, how the provider will use the increased funds in a way that complies with statute.
Distribution plans must be completed and posted by Dec. 20, 2020.
The provider must make the distribution plan available to all direct support professionals. It must be posted for six weeks (both physically at the provider’s location and electronically, if the provider has a website). The posted plan must include instructions on how to contact DHS if direct support professionals do not believe they have received the wage increase or benefits as specified in the distribution plan.
For detailed plan requirements and suggested language for how to contact DHS, see the distributions plan section of the DHS Instructions to apply temporary 8.4 percent COVID-19 rate increase for PCA participants page.
When providers notify workers of the change in their compensation, many will include a copy of the distribution plan. Workers may request more information from the provider agency when necessary.
Yes. If you have paid the worker an increased wage rate, report that as the hourly wage on the reporting spreadsheet (xls). If you have made a payment to a worker separate from their wages, report it on an additional line for that worker on the spreadsheet.
To implement the temporary change, DHS will apply the increase through claims that an FMS provider submits on behalf of participants for services dates of Dec. 1, 2020, through Feb. 7, 2021.
FMS providers will obtain additional funding for each person by receiving an add-on for each claim submitted during the effective period. Claims paid by health plans may or may not include an add-on. Instead the rate paid simply may be increased to equal the 8.4 percent increase over current state-established rates.
The FMS provider should submit claims (with no increase) by following their normal billing process. DHS will add the 8.4 percent increase when it pays the claim.
For each CDCS and CSG participant, FMS providers will document and retain records showing the additional funds received because of the add-on and work with the participant to allocate funds toward wages/salaries/benefits to workers and/or personal protective equipment/supplies.
The law requires CDCS participants to use at least 80 percent of the additional funds to increase wages, salaries and benefits for direct support workers and apply any remaining funds toward items necessary to comply with CDC guidance on sanitation and personal protective equipment
Because the temporary increase will be implemented by the FMS providers, the lead agency does not need to update the participant’s service agreement.
Because CDCS and CSG participants have both employer and budget authority, the participant is responsible to develop a plan on how they will distribute the additional funds. The participant must provide written documentation (i.e., letter or email) to the FMS provider that describes plan to distribute the increase. The FMS provider will retain the participant’s distribution plan/communication in their files. The distribution plans need to be available for review by DHS upon request.
The participant should state how they wish to allocate additional funds using percentages, not final figures (e.g., 100 percent toward staff wages/benefits or 80 percent toward staff wages/benefits and 20 percent toward PPE supplies, etc.). FMS providers should obtain written instructions from the participant (letter or email). FMS providers will ensure that the distribution plan meets the requirements.
If the participant fails to respond to the FMS provider, the FMS should reach out to the case manager. The case manager should contact the participant.
The temporary increase is a COVID-related benefit that can be accrued during the effective period. It does not correspond to the person’s service-plan year or service agreement dates.
No, at least 80 percent of the additional funds must be used to increase wages, salaries and benefits for direct support workers and any corresponding increase in the employer’s share of FICA taxes, Medicare taxes, state and federal unemployment taxes, and workers’ compensation premiums. Direct support workers do not include managerial or administrative staff who do not personally provide the services described in legislation.
Yes. The participant’s written distribution plan could include giving a payment to workers at the end of the effective period.
Yes. Parents of minors and spouses who are paid workers are eligible to receive a wage increase or other compensation.
No. The temporary budget/rate change increases the PCA maximum rate by 8.4 percent. The parent/spouse would need to stay within the new PCA rate limit.
(Note: The negotiated payment rate for the spouse or parent of a minor, including wages, benefits and payroll-related taxes, may not exceed the rate established by DHS for personal care assistance [PCA] services.)
No. The FMS will not consider the increase-related payment when calculating if the parent of a minor or spouse is within the rate established by DHS for personal care assistance (PCA) services.
Yes. If you have paid the worker an increased wage rate, report that as the hourly wage on the reporting spreadsheet (xls). If you have made a payment to a worker separate from their wages, report that on an additional line for that worker.
Funds received from a MCO under this increase must meet the same distribution requirements as the funding from DHS. The legislation that allows for the increase (Minnesota Session Laws, 2020, 5th Special Session, Ch. 3, Art. 10, Sect. 4) requires all providers who receive a rate increase to use at least 80 percent of the additional revenues to increase compensation-related costs for eligible employees on or after Dec. 1, 2020 (and through Feb. 7, 2020).
As their service rates are increased, providers are required to pass these increases to their employees in terms of additional compensation and wages.