Everything You Need to Know About CDPAP

This post gives an overview of CDPAP, a Medicaid program available in the state of New York. This post covers CDPAP eligibility, how to become a CDPAP recipient, CDPAP caregiver qualifications, and the pros and cons of the program. Here, you'll find the facts you need to make informed decisions as a CDPAP consumer. 

What is CDPAP?

CDPAP (Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program) is a Medicaid program that allows those enrolled to independently manage their own home health care. According to the NY Department of Health, CDPAP “provides services to chronically ill or physically disabled individuals who have a medical need for help with activities of daily living (ADLs) or skilled nursing services.”

CDPAP is sometimes referred to as CDPAS (Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services). The service has been around since 1995. 

Consumer & Caregiver Qualifications

To receive CDPAP, you must:

  • Reside in New York
  • Be on Medicaid
  • Have a stable medical condition

To be a personal assistant under CDPAP, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Not be the spouse, parent, or designated representative of the person receiving care

No other qualifications are needed to be a personal assistant under CDPAP. Personal assistants can complete housework, provide companionship, and assist with personal care. They can also provide at-home medical care, including administering injections and caring for wounds. 

Certified caregivers, such as Home Health Aides (HHAs), can also provide care for consumers enrolled in CDPAP.  

How do I get CDPAP?

If you would like to access home care through CDPAP, here are the steps you need to take:

1. Get Medicaid coverage. Because CDPAP is a Medicaid program, you must have Medicaid coverage in order to access it. 

2. Make sure your Medicaid coverage includes community-based long term services, since CDPAP falls under this umbrella. 

3. Get your doctor to complete a Physician’s Order for Services form and deliver it to your local social services office. 

4. The social services office will arrange two assessments: a social assessment and a nursing assessment. The nursing assessment will determine how many hours of care per week or month will be covered by CDPAP. 

If you are in dire need of home health care services and do not have time to wait for your documents to be processed, completing an Immediate Need for Personal Care Services/Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services form will accelerate procedures. You can read more about this form here.

Features of CDPAP

A person receiving CDPAP is not referred to as a client or a patient but as a "consumer," because they are responsible for orchestrating and implementing their own care. Under CDPAP, the consumer is in charge of every aspect of his or her home care.

The independent management of care under CDPAP has both pros and cons. The idea of taking charge of one’s own care is appealing in that it allows a consumer to have the final say in all matters regarding their own care: what care is provided, who provides it, and where it is provided. The only limitation CDPAP sets on a care plan is the number of hours of care that the program will fund per week. 

However, taking charge of one’s own care also involves effort: hiring and perhaps firing caregivers, finding replacement caregivers when necessary, organizing schedules, and being prepared to handle any unexpected or unpleasant situations that may arise. For some, this is a manageable effort, while for others, it can be a source of stress. If you’re setting up care under CDPAP, you’ll have to decide if you’d rather have the benefits and handle the risks of hiring a caregiver privately, or if you’d prefer to sacrifice some of the benefits and have an established agency help manage your care in order to reduce the risks involved.  

Unlike many other home care services, care under CDPAP can be provided by the recipient's relatives. It is not mandatory for caregivers to have certification. Because the CDPAP recipient is fully responsible for their own care, they can decide if they feel more comfortable receiving care from a family member or friend who knows them well but who may not have medical training, or if they’d prefer to receive care from a certified caregiver. The only exception to this rule is that a legally responsible adult cannot be the caregiver. Legally responsible adults include spouses and parents. 

A CDPAP consumer - or their designated representative - can choose to find a caregiver through a licensed caregiving agency. The agency will be responsible for caregiver management, including recording hours, issuing paycheques, and handling any unprofessional behaviour. If you are receiving CDPAP and you do not have a friend or relative in mind to act as your personal assistant, this may be the best choice for you. Caregiving agencies will have completed the caregiver vetting for you, so you'll know that you are receiving care from someone who has received training, has experience, and has been through several screening processes. 

Designated Representative

If the recipient is unable to take full responsibility regarding their own care, for whatever reason, they can appoint a designated representative who is able to take on the responsibility of orchestrating care. 

Designees are often the recipient's legal guardian, but a designee can be any adult. The designated representative cannot be the CDPAP consumer's caregiver, as they are legally responsible adults. Designated representatives must be approved by social services. 

Finding a Caregiver

If you have CDPAP and you wish to find a certified caregiver, Mavencare can help. Call us at 1-800-856-2836 to speak to a care coordinator. We’ll provide you with a referral to a trusted care provider in your area. 

CDPAP Resources