People with Disabilities


News and events

  • Public comment period for the proposed 2016 BI Waiver application

    DHS seeks comments on proposed policy changes for the Brain Injury (BI) Waiver application. As part of the five-year renewal process to continue the BI Waiver program, DHS is submitting the application to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with an effective date of April 1, 2016.

    After DHS submits the BI waiver application to CMS at the end of December 2015, DHS will hold a new public comment period for the changes currently being made to the waiver amendments that were published in August 2015.

    For information on the changes and the process to submit comments, see the proposed 2016 BI Waiver application notice.

  • Waiver rates research to study exception process

    DHS and the Improve Group are working together to study the rate-exception process. The goal is to estimate the number of exceptions that lead agencies and DHS will grant when banding protections end in 2019. The study will look at the fiscal impact of future exceptions on home and community-based services in disability waiver programs.

    DHS will use the results to calculate the estimated cost of rate exceptions when banding protections end in 2019. DHS will publish findings from this research in a 2016 report to the legislature.

    For more information on the study, see the Disability Waiver Rate System exceptions research page.

  • New, easier-to-use website launched

    The Minnesota Board on Aging and the Minnesota Area Agencies on Aging have launched a new updated at, the state’s comprehensive website for services, resources and information.

    More information is available in a news release.

  • Provider enrollment starts for new autism benefit

    Beginning July 1 the Minnesota Department of Human Services will enroll providers to deliver a new early intensive intervention Medical Assistance benefit for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Families and children will be able to access services later this summer.
    Under the new benefit, covered services will be designed to improve social interaction, communication and behavioral regulation skills at a critical time in development, promoting fuller participation by children in their family, schools and community life.
    Families interested in the new benefit should contact their county, tribe or managed care plan.
    More information is available in a news release and on the DHS website.

  • Employment for people with disabilities: Building on our past, envisioning our future

    In an ad in May’s issue of Access Press, DHS has made the following statement concerning employment of people with disabilities and current policy changes that are shaping the future of work for people with disabilities:

    For decades, people with disabilities, their families and community members have together made tremendous progress to expand civil rights and increase opportunities. That work not only continues today, but is expanding in exciting ways.

    We know that people want opportunities to be a part of the general workforce. However, too often people with disabilities don’t see how it’s possible or have difficulty getting what they need to work. In fact, a recent report showed that the majority of Minnesotans with disabilities who are unemployed want a job but have no job goal in their service plan.*

    Recent changes happening both nationally and in Minnesota have provided openings to improve services in ways that strengthen quality of life – so people with disabilities have places to belong as well as places to be within their community.

    • The Home and Community-Based Settings Final Rule by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (often referred to as HCBS Rule)
    • The Minnesota Olmstead Plan, which includes an Employment First Policy
    • The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (often referred to as WIOA).

    The State of Minnesota is committed to improving services and offering people more choices for their lives. These changes present a chance to expand upon the services we currently have.

    With every change comes uncertainty and legitimate questions and concerns. We know services will look different, but we also know they won’t happen overnight.

    We can’t predict exactly what the future will look like, but we are dedicated to working alongside people with disabilities and our state agency partners as we thoughtfully build on the progress created over the decades.

    As planning begins we will share more information about ways to be involved. To learn about Minnesota’s HCBS Rule go to To learn more about Olmstead and the Employment First Policy go to Minnesota Olmstead's Plan website. To learn more about WIOA, see this factsheet.

    * From the National Core Indicators Project, ICI National Survey of State IDD Agencies, 2015

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