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Disability services COVID-19 FAQ

Below are answers to frequently asked questions by providers and lead agencies related to the COVID-19 virus and its effects on disability services. We will update this page frequently, as we are able, to provide more answers or updated information.

Lead agencies

Assessment/face-to-face visits

Guardianship

Home care and self-directed services

Rates

Service authorization

Providers

How to protect the rights of people with disabilities when they return to day service programs and employment services

Disability day service providers gradually are reopening. They, along with employment service providers, are working with people as they make decisions about when and how to return to services following statewide stay at home orders.

Home and community-based service providers can use this guidance to ensure they uphold people’s rights and encourage informed decision-making while maintaining infection control as they began to serve people again.

The following does not give guidance on developing or implementing a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, nor does it provide information on licensing requirements for resuming day services or employment services. For more information, see the additional resources section .

Day and employment services

Day services

Employment services

Positive supports guidance

The section below provides guidance to 245D-licensed residential providers on upholding a person’s rights, person-centered practices, service suspensions and service terminations under the peacetime emergency (executive orders 20-01 (PDF) and 20-35 (PDF) and the directive to stay at home (executive orders 20-20 [PDF], 20-33 [PDF] and 20-48 [PDF]) declared by Gov. Walz.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) affirms that people with disabilities who receive 245D-licensed residential services are valued members of their communities. While all people are experiencing restrictions on their rights during the peacetime emergency, people with disabilities may not have their rights restricted more than people without disabilities. People who live in licensed residential settings (“group homes”) retain all rights afforded to them under chapter 245D that are not directly affected by one of the governor’s orders.

Residential providers with 245D licenses are encountering difficult questions and situations as they respond to the COVID-19 virus and the requirements of the peacetime emergency order. Managing physical distance in a home between multiple people, including staff, can be extremely challenging in an already challenging environment. While adhering to the stay-at-home orders, you must uphold the rights afforded to people under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 245D, and the principles of the Positive Supports Rule (Minnesota Rules, chapter 9544). DHS continues to expect providers to promote the person’s self-determination, person-centeredness, engagement in community and high-quality individualized supports – among other responsibilities. Residential service providers and direct support professionals are responsible for adhering to existing policies and directives. We acknowledge the vital role direct support professionals have in meeting the day-to-day responsibility for applying person-centered principles and protecting people’s health, safety and well-being. This emergency is a particularly important time to learn more about what is important to people and get creative in finding ways to honor that.

Right click to download a printable version of this guidance (PDF).

Staffing

Licensing

Rates

All audiences

Waiver services

Answers to questions from people who receive services and the public

Other pandemic-related information

For the latest news about the pandemic and information from the Disability Services Division for our partners, providers and the people we serve, visit the Latest information about COVID-19 from DSD webpage.

Resources for people who receive services and answers to their frequently asked questions may be found on the DisabilityHubMN website.

Note: For updates related to agencywide DHS programs, visit the DHS homepage. It has information for providers, counties, tribal nations and members of the public as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be updated as changes happen at federal and state levels. To be notified when changes occur, you can sign up for COVID-19-specific DHS email notifications.

The governor granted the Minnesota Department of Human Services emergency temporary authority to change administrative and regulatory requirements for food assistance, home care, public health care and other state programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find a complete list of temporary waivers and program modifications. We will describe many of these modifications further in DHS bulletins.

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