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  • Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department
    300 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55487-0999
Service Info
Service:Elderly Waiver (EW)
Agency: Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department
Location:300 S 6th St, Government Center, Minneapolis, MN, 55487-0999 Map
Phone: (612) 348-4500

Service Description

The Elderly Waiver (EW) helps to pay for home and community-based services for older adults (65 and older). To qualify for EW, you must be eligible for Medical Assistance (MA) and meet the level of care defined below. EW pays for more services than what Medical Assistance (MA) covers. EW helps people to remain independent in the community.

Depending on your specific needs, services may include:

* Case Management Services and Transitional Planning - a case manager works with you to plan and set up services based on an individuals assessed needs, including returning home from a nursing facility
- There is also an option to plan your own services and supports called Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS)
* Out-of-Home Care - Adult Foster Care (group home), Customized Living in Assisted Living or similar settings
* Home Modification and Accessibility, vehicle adaptations, Specialized Equipment and Supplies and medical items not covered by MA .

* In-Home Services -
    - Extended Home Care Services - MA pays for some home care services up to a limit. After the limit is reached, EW can pay for more services as needed. Extended home care services include:
                - Home Health Aide (HHA)
                - Private Duty Nurse (PDN)
                - Personal Care Assistance (PCA) - non-medical physical care and support
    - Home-Delivered Meals, Homemaker, Chore Services and Companion
* Adult Day Services
* Services for family caregivers - training and respite care (in-home or out-of-home)
* Transportation - to community services, resources and activities

For more information about the Elderly Waiver, visit:
Basic information -
Manual with coverage details -


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  • Accessible public restroom
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  • Elderly Waiver (EW)


EW is for adults (ages 65 and older) and funds home and community based services for people that are eligible for medical assistance and who would need the level of care of a nursing home (details below). But choose to reside in the community.

You can qualify for the EW waiver if:
 * You are in a nursing home and want to move out, or
 * You are at risk to need to be in a nursing home and want to stay in the community instead.

To qualify, you must meet all 5 requirements:
1. Be 65 years or older
2. Choose to live in the community instead of a nursing home
3. Be eligible for Medical Assistance
4. The assessment must show that the person needs the level of care of a nursing home (called Nursing Facility Level of Care - details below)
5. No other funding is available for these services

Nursing Facility Level of Care means that the assessment shows that the person needs help for (1 or more):
  - Cognitive (thinking or memory) or behavior condition
  - Complicating conditions needing unpredictable, often, or a range of medical or cognitive help (such as nursing care during the night or help for unpredictable seizures)
- Is frail, and unable to meet one's own health and safety needs (self-neglect) or is vulnerable to abuse
  - Needs high level of ongoing help to do daily living activities
  - Needs complex care management to plan care
  - Needs for rehabilitation or special treatment
  - Unstable health

Some older adults with low income who are not financially eligible for Medical Assistance may be eligible for the Alternative Care (AC) Program instead of the Elderly Waiver. The assessment will advise if you qualify for a different program instead.

Application Instructions

If you are already on MA, the steps to apply for an Elderly Waiver are to:

1. Call the local county, your health plan, or tribal public health agency where you live and ask for a Long Term Care Consultation (LTCC). By 2015, this will transition to an assessment called MnCHOICES.
2. Fill out a Long Term Care and Home and Community-Based Waiver Services Application. You can ask for the form to be mailed to you, or print it from the internet at: . If you are already on Medical Assistance, complete the MHCP Request for Payment of Long-Term Care Services at:
     If you need help with the forms, ask the assessor or call Senior LinkAge Line® at (800) 333-2433.
3. The local public health agency, health plan or tribal agency will do a Long Term Care Consultation (LTCC) or MnCHOICES assessment in your home. The assessment will check what you can do on your own and what help is needed. The assessor will get to know how you prefer to live and may meet the people who currently help you.

If you are not already on MA, you must apply for it. You can apply for both MA and EW at the same time.


Depending on income, you may need to pay for a portion of your service costs under the Elderly Waiver (Waiver Obligation), or you may have a spend-down (payment to receive Medical Assistance, based on how much your income is over the income limit).

Area Served

Hennepin County




Telephone types, numbers and hours

Main (612) 348 - 4500

Last Update


Statewide TTY Number

Dial 7-1-1 Learn More