Page Reviewed / Updated – March 4, 2024

Program Description

The Minnesota Essential Community Supports (ECS) program provides financial support to people 65 years of age and older who wish to remain living in their residence. It is intended to help seniors who need some assistance to live independently at home but don’t need the level of care provided at a nursing home. One cannot reside in assisted living or a nursing home and receive this assistance.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services administers the ECS program, offering qualified applicants, as of 2024, up to $466 a month toward essential services, such as home meal delivery, homemaker services, and adult day care.

Eligibility Guidelines

General Requirements

To receive ECS support, applicants must meet several different eligibility criteria, including:

  • Be a resident of Minnesota.
  • Be 65 or older.
  • Do NOT need nursing-home-level care.
  • Do NOT live in assisted living or a nursing home.
  • Need assistance with one or more of the services provided by this program to remain living at home.

Financial Requirements

  • An individual cannot be financially eligible for Medicaid, also called Medical Assistance in Minnesota. (Individuals who qualify for Medicaid should be eligible for similar services through Minnesota Medicaid.)
  • An applicant’s combined income and assets must be less than the cost of 135 days of nursing home care.

Benefits and Services

Essential Community Supports provides eligible beneficiaries up to $466 a month toward the following services:

  • Adult day care
  • Care coordination
  • Chore / homemaker services
  • Home delivered meals
  • Caregiving training & education
  • PERS (personal emergency response services, such as LifeAlert)
  • Community living assistance (aid with scheduling appointments, reading mail, money management, socialization with friends, etc.)

A long-term care consultant will make a final determination regarding the exact benefits and services each beneficiary is eligible to receive.

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How to Apply / Learn More

Seniors interested in applying for Essential Community Supports can contact the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433. 

Additional program information can be found on the Minnesota Department of Human Services webpage

Once candidates have been approved, their eligibility must be reassessed each year.