MA-Waiver Programs
updated September 17, 2018

MA-Waiver programs offer services for people with disabilities and seniors who live in the community, not in institutions such as nursing homes or Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (ICF/DDs). If you currently live in an institution, you may be able to move out and get the services you need through an MA-Waiver program.

Services MA-Waiver Programs May Provide

The services MA-Waiver programs provide are meant to help people who need long-term care services to live in the community instead of in institutions. Common MA-Waiver services include:

Who They Help

To qualify for MA-Waiver programs, you must:

Additionally, the MA-Waiver services must not be paid for by any other program, such as private health coverage, Medicare, MA, or Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS).

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) combined manual has more detailed information about the different MA-Waiver programs.

How You Apply

The best way to see whether MA-Waiver programs are right for you and learn whether you qualify for them is to contact your local county human services agency and request a MnCHOICES assessment.

Anybody who thinks they might need long-term services can request a MnCHOICES assessment, even if they don’t qualify for MA or any other benefits currently and even if they have good income and lots of money in the bank. Within 20 days, the county must send a MnCHOICES assessor over to help review your situation to see which long-term care programs or services can help you.

During this review, the assessor will look at what programs and services might help you live in the community, including MA-Waiver programs, Medical Assistance (MA), and personal care assistance (PCA) services. Even if you are not eligible for public benefits, the assessment can help you understand what services, accommodations, and resources exist.

If you might qualify for public benefits, the county will help you fill out the application forms. The exact application process for MA-Waiver programs will depend on whether you currently are on MA or not. The assessor doing the assessment will explain how you should apply and will help you get started.

Note: If you qualify for an MA-Waiver program, in some counties you may need to get on a waiting list before you can get services. How long you have to wait depends on the MA-Waiver program you qualify for, the county you live in, and whether you are in a priority group, such as a person currently living in an institution.

Get Help

To learn more about MA-Waiver programs: