New York's CDPAP Program

New York’s CDPAP Program

New York’s Medicaid system covers millions of state residents (7.4 million, as of December, 2021) whose healthcare needs, financial resources, and level of disabilities vary. Administering effective programs that meet the wide range of demands made on it every day requires extraordinary organization and constant innovation.

For decades, Medicaid programs available in New York served the disabled and elders who needed daily care assistance at home. They were well enough to continue living in the community but only if some services were provided for personal hygiene, meal preparation, housekeeping, and similar tasks.

Improvements to Medicaid’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) increased the program’s flexibility, making more community-based, family member care providers eligible for Medicaid funding.

The Community Medicaid Program of New York traditionally arranged for Medicaid benefit recipients who needed these support services to get homecare or personal aides through licensed agencies. But until a few years ago, there were strict limitations prohibiting family members or other non-professional  caregivers from receiving money from Medicaid to perform the care-related services needed by those whom they knew personally.

Ely J. Rosenzveig & Associates represents many families to help them secure needed elder care for loved ones who still live in the community without unnecessarily exhausting their life savings. This blog post explains one of the valuable options that may enable older or disabled relatives to receive care from family and friends who will be compensated by Medicaid for their work. Here’s how it works.

New York's CDPAP Program
Siblings and other family member may be hired as the personal assistant in the CDPAP program.

Improvement in Medicaid Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP)

The New York Medicaid Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is an innovative program that enables disabled and elders who live in the Community but who need in-home healthcare or personal assistance to recruit family member or friends to provide their care as they direct. The work they perform will be paid for by the state Medicaid program.

While some limitations still apply, preventing spouses or designated representatives from serving as paid caregivers, others who were previously barred by regulations can now perform the services formerly reserved only for outside care providers.

How Do You Arrange For Your Care in CDPAP?

The application process to participate in the CDPAP program is submitted to Medicaid but you can get help filling out the necessary documents from many Home Healthcare Agencies who act as what Medicaid calls “Fiscal Intermediaries.” Or, if you work with a social service agency, they too can assist you.

Eligibility — There are some important eligibility criteria you must meet to participate in CDPAP:

  1. you must be eligible for Medicaid,
  2. you must need home care services, and
  3. you must be able to direct your own home or personal care (or have a designated representative to do so).

Assessment of Need

The CDPAP plan’s central purpose is to empower the elder or disabled community member needing care to direct their own services. However, each CDPAP participant must meet with professional healthcare personnel, usually a nurse, who assesses the level of care the person needs and what services must be provided. The ability to choose and direct your own caregiver is important, but the program wants to ensure the caregiver is competent to meet the needs of the person cared for.

This assessment can be arranged either through a social service agency with whom you interact regularly, or you can reach out to an agency on the NY Medicaid CDPAP Vendor List.

Next Steps

To complete the application for enrolment in the CDPAP plan, all the participant’s healthcare providers will need to provide access to health-related information and records to ensure that all the person’s needs are accounted for.

The payroll and bookkeeping tasks are handled by one of the Fiscal Intermediaries mentioned earlier. These are professional homecare agencies who contract with Medicaid to provide these financial services and to provide some limited oversight. There services will continue for the duration of your participation in the CDPAP program.

CDPAP provides all consumers who are beginning the CDPAP program a complete and thorough package of informative and useful material as a guide to finding, interviewing, training, and interacting with your chosen personal assistant team member.

Identifying Eligible Care Givers of Choice

One of the most important steps in the CDPAP process is selecting reliable, competent, available caregivers and personal service assistants.

One of the key benefits of the CDPAP program is being able to select the person you know and love as a caregiver. However, the person or group of people identified as part of the care team must be committed to maintaining persistent attendance and to cooperate with other team members when coordinating schedules. Working with non-professionals presents issues one may not need to be concerned with when using a homecare agency.

Who May Not Be a Paid CDPAP Caregiver?

The new regulations continue to prohibit a few classes of potential caregivers from becoming paid consumer directed personal assistants:

  • Spouses.
  • Parents whose minor children are the care recipients.
  • Parents of adult children who are the care recipients if the parents are also the designated representatives of the child.

Siblings and other family member may be hired as the personal assistant in the CDPAP program. However, family members who live in the same home with the CDPAP consumer may be barred from being hired unless the care recipient’s condition and needs are such that a personal care provider’s presence is necessary throughout the day and night.

What Services Can Be Provided by CDPAP Personal Assistants?

To enable CDPAP consumers in need of personal assistance to remain in the community as long as possible and saving financial resources for both the family and Medicaid, CDPAP personal assistants can perform all of the following services:

  • Housekeeping chores — including cleaning, laundry, shopping, meal preparation, bill paying, and similar tasks,
  • Personal hygiene assistance — including bathing, showers, toileting, dressing, grooming (hair, shaving, nails), manual feeding, walking, transferring to and from beds, chairs, wheelchairs, skin care, administering medication by cueing, bringing the meds to the patient, opening the meds, storing them properly, etc.
  • Performing simple specific medical maintenance task when authorized, tracheotomy tubes, catheters, insulin administration, etc.

Elder Law Attorneys Want to Help You Access Available Services

Ely J. Rosenzveig & Associates are experienced elder law and estate planning attorneys who supports efforts to expand opportunities for disabled and elder New Yorkers who want to remain in their home. If you or one of your family members needs help understanding what services are available to assist them with their daily needs, contact Ely J. Rosenzveig & Associates.

We can also help you qualify for Medicaid and preserve your financial resources if you speak to us before you need Medicaid benefits.  


Call Ely J. Rosenzveig and Associates today: 1 (914) 816-2900
or email us at: [email protected]


Ariel Rosenzveig

Ariel S. Rosenzveig received his Juris Doctor from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in May, 2011, and has been practicing law with the firm since August, 2011. During his summers while in law school, Ariel interned with the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission in New York and with the Securities & Futures Commission in Hong Kong, China.

While in law school, Ariel served on the staff of the Cardozo Public Law, Policy & Ethics Journal, volunteered with the Cardozo Advocates for Battered Women, and participated in the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program. Prior to attending law school, Ariel worked as an arbitrage trader for a small proprietary trading firm on Wall Street. Ariel graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University in 2006.

Ariel is licensed to practice law in the states of New York and New Jersey, and is a member of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), NYSBA’s Elder Law section, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). In June, 2015, Ariel successfully completed a certificate program in mediation through the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.



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