Human Services

Arc Guide to MNChoices Assessment

What is MnCHOICES?

MnCHOICES is a new Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) assessment tool and service support planning application for persons with disabilities seeking eligibility for public funded programs and services such as personal care assistance and waivers.

MnCHOICES will be conducted by a certified assessor (with a common set of skills and knowledge in best practices and person-centered principles) as replacement for the following county HCBS assessment tools:

  • Developmental Disability (DD) Screening, assessing those:
    • At risk of placement in an ICF/DD
    • Requesting residential, training and habilitation, nursing facility or family support services
    • With reasonable indication of requiring this level of care
  • Long–Term Care Consultation (LTCC), which:
    • Ensures persons are made aware of available home and community-based options
    • Prevents long-term placement of persons in nursing facilities, hospital swing beds and certified boarding care facilities
    • Provides options to persons so they can to make informed decisions about where they want to live
  • Personal Care Assistance (PCA) assessment that consists of:
    • An assessor visiting your home visit to review daily needs
    • Assessment includes questions determines:
      • Need for a responsible party
      • Type of help needed on an average day
      • Medications
      • Health
      • Behavior
  • (In the future) Private Duty Nursing (PDN) assessment to determine need for:
    • Professional nursing care based on the consumer’s medical needs
    • Ongoing professional nursing observation, monitoring, intervention and evaluation


What will MnCHOICES assess?

MnCHOICES determines eligibility for publicly-funded programs/services including:


Long-Term Services

HCBS waiver services (Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals [CADI], Developmental Disabilities [DD], Community Alternative Care [CAC], etc.) allow

individuals to live and be supported in the most inclusionary settings possible by providing additional services beyond those offered by Medical Assistance (MA).


Case Management

  • Case managers will:
  • Coordinate services
  • Develop a service plan based on assessed needs and preferences
  • Evaluate and monitor services identified in the service plan
  • Help access needed services
  • Help identify potential service providers


Personal Care Assistance Services

Support day-to-day activities in the home and community to help maximize independence


Intent of MnCHOICES

Assesses needs and streamlines access to services with one assessment instead of multiple assessments for different programs/services

  • Promote statewide consistency in application of needs assessments
  • Requires one annual re-assessment instead of staggered multiple re-assessments


How do I request a MnCHOICES assessment?

Contact your county Human Services Department.


What happens during the MnCHOICES assessment?

The process will include intake, assessment, and support planning for persons with disabilities. Specifically, demographic information will be collected, a health risk assessment will be taken, and you will be asked quality of life questions. Content includes:

  • Personal Information – demographics, decision-making and emergency contacts
  • Quality of Life – routines, relationships, strengths, traditions
  • ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) – support needed with eating, bathing, dressing, etc.
  • IADLS – support needed with med management, meal prep, etc.
  • Health – medication usage, health risks, treatments and therapies
  • Psychosocial – behaviors, addictions, etc.
  • Memory and Cognition -issues related to developmental disabilities, treatment options, etc.
  • Sensory and Communication – vision and hearing, ability to communicate, awareness and action when faced with safety concerns
  • Employment, Volunteering and Training – identify barriers, needed resources for support
  • Housing and Environment – current housing assessment and support with modifications
  • Self-Direction – interest in PCA CHOICE, Consumer Support Grant, etc.
  • Caregiver- assess capacity of informal (family/friend) caregiver to provide support
  • Assessor conclusions – summary of content and next steps


What happens after the MnCHOICES assessment?

MnCHOICES produces an assessment summary which the certified assessor uses to:

  • Review what was discussed during the assessment
  • Develop an individual’s Community Support Plan (CSP)


The CSP must include:

  • A summary of assessed needs
  • Options and choices to meet identified needs which includes options for:
  • self-directed service
  • case management service
  • provider service
  • Identification of health and safety risks and how they will be addressed – including personal risk management strategies
  • Referral information
  • Informal caregiver supports (if applicable)
  • For persons eligible for publicly funded long-term care services, the CSP must also include the services annual and monthly budget estimate amounts


If a case manager is assigned, a Coordinated Services and Support Plan (CSSP) will then be created. The CSSP is based on the Community Support Plan, but must meet additional criteria.


A written CSSP:

  • Is developed and signed by the participant
  • Includes the results of the assessment information regarding need for service, and how needs will be met – including support to be provided by the person’s relatives, friends, and others, and community services used by the general public)
  • Reasonably ensures the health and safety of the recipient
  • Identifies preferences for services as stated by the person / conservator
  • Reflects informed choice between institutional and community-based services
  • Choice of services, supports, and providers – including available case manager providers
  • Identifies long and short-range goals
  • Identifies specific services and the amount, frequency, duration, and cost which are based on assessed needs, preferences and available resources
  • Includes information about the right to appeal decisions


Where can I get more information?

Minnesota Department of Human Services’ MnCHOICES website.



For further information or advocacy services, contact The Arc Minnesota at 952-920-0855 or toll-free at 833.450.1494 or visit (Please note: This document is not legal advice, and should not be construed as such. Thus, no information herein should replace the sound advice of an attorney.)

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