Cherish News for Program Recipients, Families and Staff


Cherish is looking for employees in nearly all locations! 
Contact Kalee   (218)263-9000


Cherish appreciates our program participants and our staff. 
This news is intended to bring to your attention information that could help.


EVV Soft Launch is ending!  Federal laws will be enforced...

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)
A Federal Law, the 21st Century Cures Act, Public Law 114–255 (PDF), requires PCAs and other direct care staff to USE EVV.  EVV DOES NOT track locations throughout a visit.  A single location is collected at the start and the end of a visit only.  EVV is an attempt to prevent fraud by proving that a staff person was with the program participant for time they are billing.  If you are submitting a missed time form, there is no GPSS attached, and could be construed as an attempt to commit fraud.  Occasionally technical difficulties prevent a clock in or out, this is the time an employee should complete a missed time form.

*notice - EVV is required for every provider in the USA.  Missed time sheets do not have the GPS stamp required by MN DHS and the Federal Government.  MN DHS tracks billing with missed GPS and may prompt a fraud investigation by SIRS.  Missed time sheets should be the exception.


DHS Live In Caregiver EVV requirements




As Minnesota moves from PCA Services to CFSS over 2024 There will be some change.
DHS cannot provide a specific launch date for CFSS until CMS approves, but will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. DHS will announce a CFSS launch date at least 90 days before that point.


People receiving PCA services will transition to CFSS at their yearly reassessment.


The first step will be for the person receiving services to meet with a consultation services provider who will provide education on the two CFSS service models and allow the person to chose which model that best fits their needs.

CFSS will have two service delivery models, the agency provider model and the budget model.

Cherish is an agency model provider If you chose the agency model and keep Cherish as your trusted provider, not much will change and your current Support Workers will not need to reenroll with a new provider.

Each model offers different levels of responsibility for people who receive services.

Both models allow people the most control possible to select and obtain services.
In both Models the Person directs their care, and has a say in selecting their worker,
(including the person’s spouse, the parent of a minor or another person who uses CFSS services),
may buy good and services by reducing the number of CFSS Support worker hours they receive.

In the agency provider model, the person selects an agency that serves as their workers’ employer. This means the agencies will recruit, hire, train, supervise and pay CFSS support workers.

In the budget model, the person is the employer of their support workers. They will have a budget rather than service units. People who use the budget model will recruit, hire, train and supervise their support workers. The person will select a financial management services (FMS) provider to help the person with payroll and related costs and follow SEIU Union rules.  They will not have a QP or Supervising Professional.


DHS contracted with 16 organizations to provide FMS in Minnesota:

DHS List of Consultation Providers




Effective Jan. 1, 2024, Employee Sick and Safe Time (ESST) will begin to accrue at the rate of one hour per 30 hours worked.  You may use time that you have accrued if you are sick, it is not Paid Time Off and it is not paid out when you leave Cherish. Your accrual caps at 48 hours. PCA Choice employees are not covered under this program because the Union Contract covers ESST requirements.  Sick and safe time is paid leave employers must provide to employees in Minnesota that can be used for certain reasons, including when an employee is sick, to care for a sick family member or to seek assistance if an employee or their family member has experienced domestic abuse.  We are assuming that on 1/1/2026 when the Paid Family and Medical Leave act begins through the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program begins, that the ESST program will end.


Sick and Safe Time Request Form (for direct care staff - not PCA Choice)


PTO Request Form for PCA Choice



We have been informed that the money has been spent for the retention bonus

You may qualify for a MN DHS retention bonus if you have been working at Cherish for 2 or more years
Follow this link to apply>>> bonuses

*Application is fairly simple... you need your 2022 tax return, and your 2022 W2 and your 2021 W2, (you will need to upload these 3 files).  You will need your UMPI number if you are a PCA.  You will be asked what type of services you provided, and you will provide your address, phone number and e-mail address.


Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) direct care workers and traditional personal care assistance (PCA) workers may apply for retention bonus and training stipend grant initiatives

HCBS direct care workers and traditional PCA workers may apply for grant initiatives, including a retention bonus and PCA training stipend. The two initiatives are part of the Legislature-created HCBS grant developed to help attract new direct care workers and keep current employees who provide HCBS services to people with disabilities and older adults. Review the Apply for grant initiatives, including retention bonuses and training stipends AASD and DSD eList announcement for information about the retention bonus and training stipend, including application information. Refer to the HCBS Workforce Development Grant webpage for information about the grant initiatives and legislation.



Human Services Legislation



Some issues that may affect you or those you serve:



Family Caregivers

On November 11, 2023  Parents of minors and spouses who have been providing PCA services during the COVID-19 emergency will not be able to continue to provide services.  There is an extreme shortage of Direct Care Workers, so an alternative plan for provision of services is not necessarily a viable option.  Parents and Spouses need some direction on what they are to do, as a crisis is quickly approaching. 


Enhanced Waiver rates

Currently PCAs that work for a person receiving more than 10 hours per day of care earn an increased wage.  To qualify for the increase the employee must take the DHS online training,



Have issues with pay or equity between PCA programs (PCA Choice has many more state paid benefits than PCA Traditional) - Contact your Minnesota Legislators and tell them you want equity:


Governor Walz

Governor Walz committed to make Minnesota an age friendly state and announced a PCA wage increase but did not fund it.
Established November as Caregiver month. 
Contact Governor Walz to ask for his fiscal support in increasing PCA wages.

 Contact DHS Commissioner Harperstead - she needs to hear from real people:




IRS Notice 2014-7


If you Live with the person you are providing services for - you could qualify for an income tax exclusion


In January 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014-7 stating that certain wages earned by employees providing services to individuals on a Medicaid Waiver can be excluded from federal income tax.

 This applies to employees living full time in the home with the Medicaid waiver person they provide services to.

More Information



If you had to pay into State or Federal Income Tax - you may want to change your W4

2023 Form W-4

2023 MN W4


Other assistance programs:


Minnesota benefits


Telephone and Internet assistance programs (mediacom is free):


Child Care Assistance The Minnesota Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) 


Food Shelves


Energy Assistance


Minnesota Power Lower Rate Electricity


Home Weatherization


Home Rehabilitation


Housing Repair Grants Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants in Minnesota | Rural Development (


Home Ownership


MNSURE Application Assistance


Adult Education


Social Security and Social Security Disabilty


Veterans Benefits


Veterans Health and Disability




Bridge To Benefits


Help Me Connect

Application for St Louis County benefits