Benefit extension allows parents and spouses to continue providing personal care assistance services


A new extension of a pandemic benefit will allow parents of children under age 18 and spouses to continue serving as personal care assistance workers for their family members for another six months.

The federal government approved the extension until Nov. 11, 2023, and the final human services budget bill approved by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz includes funding for the extension.

During the wind-down of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency, the Minnesota Department of Human Services asked to extend the personal care assistance benefit for family members, which has been in effect since early in the pandemic. The benefit had been set to expire with the public health emergency on May 11. But just days beforehand, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allowed Minnesota to apply for an extension, which was granted.

“We wanted to do whatever we could to make sure services were not interrupted for people and their families,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “We only learned that this option was possible in early May, and moved quickly to take advantage of it. We thank Governor Walz and the Legislature for their cooperation, which was critical to making this possible.”

The change applies to parents, stepparents and legal guardians of minors, as well as to spouses.


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