Frequently Asked Questions

What is CDPAP?

• The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is a New York State Medicaid program that allows consumers to recruit, hire, and direct their own home care workers. One of the highlights of the program is that it allows consumers to hire family members and friends.

What are the requirements to be eligible for CDPAP?

• Consumers must require assistance with activities of daily living or skilled care, have a stable medical condition, and be self directing or have a designated representative that is willing and able to direct care as per the program’s requirements.

Who can provide care under CDPAP? May family members serve as the personal assistants?

• Most people, including children over the age of 18, can serve as personal assistants and get paid to provide care under CDPAP. Spouses may not provide care under CDPAP. You can select friends, relatives, siblings, neighbors or previously hired aides. Health Aide, Inc. can provide recruitment assistance if needed.

Do personal assistants need a special license or certification?

• Your personal assistants do not need a special license or certification to provide care under the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program.

What kind of services are personal assistants able to administer under CDPAP?

• Under CDPAP, personal assistants are able to perform home health aide tasks such as dressing, toileting, walking, bathing and feeding. A special benefit of CDPAP is that personal assistants can perform skilled nursing tasks such as administering oxygen, insulin injections, and suctioning tracheostomies.

How does someone enroll in CDPAP?

• The process of enrolling in CDPAP can be confusing. The good news is that there is help. Give us a call and a CDPAP specialist will guide you through every step of the enrollment process –


How would my Personal Assistants be compensated?

• Health Aide, Inc. will reimburse your personal assistants for the care provided. We are enrolled as a New York State Medicaid provider and work with the Social Services District and managed care providers for the provision of CDPAP services. We process the weekly payroll and offer a competitive salary for your personal assistants.

Can parents of disabled children serve as the CDPAP assistants?

• Adult disabled children who are over the age of 21 may have a parent receive reimbursement and work as their personal assistant providing that the parent is not the adult child’s designated representative.

• Children who are under the age of 21 cannot have a parent serve as their personal assistant.

• A designated representative is a person who agrees to accept all of the responsibilities for a consumer who either wants additional help running his/her CDPAP program or cannot assume the responsibilities needed to do so.

Are children in the Care at Home Program eligible for CDPAP?

• Yes.

Are participants receiving Residential Habilitation or Day Habilitation (waiver services) also eligible to receive CDPAP?

• Individuals who receive Residential Habilitation or Day Habilitation services through the OPWDD Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver program may participate in the CDPAP only during those hours of the day in which they are not receiving either of these waiver services.

Are participants receiving Self Direction – Individual Supports and Services (ISS), also eligible to receive CDPAP?

• Individuals who receive Self Direction – Individual Supports and Services (ISS), may participate in the CDPAP only during those hours of the day in which they are not receiving either of these services.

How do I become a Personal Assistant?

To become a Health Aide, Inc. Personal Assistant you must:

• Be at least 18 years of age.

• Be legally eligible to work in the United States.

• Have a current physical, PPD, and proof of immunizations.

• Complete all required documents with the assistance and direction of the Consumer.

• Complete an annual health assessment including all locally required laboratory tests.

We can refer you to a physician if needed.

What’s the difference between CDPAP and CDPAS? Am I using the correct term?

• CDPAP and CDPAS are often used interchangeably for the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program and the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services, respectively. CDPAP stands for the program itself, while CDPAS stands for the services provided through the program- such as activities of daily living, medication administration, personal hygiene, and light house-keeping. CDPAP and CDPAS are essentially one in the same.

How is it confirmed that the Personal Assistant is working the hours they are supposed to?

• In the CDPAP program, ultimately, it is the Consumer’s/Designated Representative’s responsibility to supervise the Personal Assistant to confirm that the hours authorized by the Consumer’s health plan are being worked. However, certain Fiscal Intermediaries- such as Health Aide, Inc.- utilize a progressive Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) system in which the Personal Assistant (PA) uses the Consumer’s house phone to clock in and clock out at the start and end of every shift.

What training/certifications do the Personal Assistants need?

• The wonderful thing about CDPAP is that no training or certification is needed for Personal Assistants and there are very few exceptions of who can be a PA in relation to the Consumer. For example- a Consumer’s legal spouse or Designated Representative cannot be their Personal Assistant. Otherwise, as long as the PA completes the necessary enrollment steps into the Fiscal Intermediary- such as the application, completion of a physical, background check clearance – the PA can start working with the Consumer usually within less than one week! Once the enrollment process is completed, the Consumer’s health plan will develop a Plan of Care to be kept in the Consumer’s home, which will advise what activities the PA should be completing with the Consumer and the frequency (example: ‘Shower Consumer once daily’). It is then the Consumer/DR’s responsibility to train and supervise the PA’s skills.

How does the Personal Assistant and FI help to prevent Consumer hospitalizations?

• Hospitalization visits and stays can be utterly traumatic. When the Consumer/Designated Representative are choosing a Personal Assistant, great emphasis should be placed on the candidate’s character. PA traits like professionalism, dependability and responsibility should be valued so that if the Consumer were to experience a true health emergency, the Consumer would be confident that the PA would follow up as necessary. Health Aide, Inc., a reputable Fiscal Intermediary, also implements mandatory real time data collection from all Personal Assistants. At the end of every shift, each PA is prompted to answer a series of questions relating to the Consumer’s well-being. This data is collected and triaged to the client’s Case Manager at their health plan. If a Consumer’s condition seems to be worsening- as reported by the Personal Assistant- the Case Manager will be made aware and intervene to prevent a potentially avoidable hospital visit.

Who pays for CDPAP? What are the costs?

• Medicaid pays for the CDPAP program.

• There are no costs to enroll.

• It’ is free to participate in the CDPAP program.

How much does Cdpap pay an hour?

• The Health Aide, Inc. CDPAP pay rate is up to 18.6$ per hour.

Is the CDPAP program gaining momentum?

• By the turn of the millennium, there were more than 1000 people who joined the CDPAP program, and each year since then has seen significant percentage increases in participation. By now, every county health department and every MCO provides CDPAP services.

What was home healthcare before CDPAP?

• Prior to the existence of the CDPAP program, instead of the consumer making most of the decisions regarding their care, it was the healthcare providers.

What decisions are now made by the consumer or the one responsible for their healthcare?

• They may decide who the Personal Assistant will be, what their schedule will be, and which services they’ll provide. They also handle any potential terminations.

Is any part of New York State not included in the CDPAP program?

• No, currently every county in the state has services provided for those in the CDPAP program.

If one is eligible to receive home care services, does that exclude them from the benefit of the CDPAP program?

• No, they can still join CDPAP.

Can anyone be a CDPAP Personal Assistant?

• Not everyone, but close to it. As long as they’re an adult, not the consumer’s spouse, not the consumer’s designated representative, and not the parent of a disabled child under 21 years old, one can serve as a CDPAP Personal Assistant.

Does one who seeks to become a CDPAP Personal Assistant require any prior healthcare education?

• No, all training in home care is provided to the potential candidate.

May immigrants serve as CDPAP Personal Assistants?

• Yes, provided that all their required papers proving their legal status are up to date.

Is anything also required to become a CDPAP Personal Assistant?

• Yes, a full exam by a doctor with TB test and proof of Measles/Rubella immunity must be submitted.

What type of healthcare may CDPAP Personal Assistants take care of?

• CDPAP Personal Assistants can do nearly anything a registered nurse making a home visit can do including giving oxygen and injections. Guidelines are laid out to each Personal Assistant during their training by the consumer.

Are there any health benefits to the CDPAP program?

• Definitely. With the consumer choosing the Personal Assistant of their choice, less turnover will happen, and better healthcare will result. Additionally, having one’s loved one dealing with the consumer’s healthcare may mean better care at home and less hospital visits.

What steps are needed to become a fiscal intermediary for CDPAP?

• They must complete an initial authorization application, contact the Bureau of Long Term Care Reimbursement to establish a Health Provider Network account, and enter into contracts with MCOs to establish a reimbursement rate. If they are not enrolled as a Medicaid provider, they must contact the Bureau of Provider Enrollment to become one.

Can an entity contract with a managed home care company to provide fiscal intermediary services before going through the above steps?

• No. The New York State Department of Health only allows a fiscal intermediary to contract with plans and service consumers once all of their paperwork is completed.

How does one apply for the CDPAP program?

• One should contact their county health department to sign up for CDPAP.

What’s involved in the process of becoming part of the CDPAP program?

• The consumer or the one making the health-related decisions for the consumer must complete the enrollment process, after which the consumer’s MCO makes the final decision on the eligibility for the CDPAP program.

Can children get paid to care for their parents?

• Yes. Parents can hire their children to be paid family caregivers.

Can spouses get paid to take care of each other?

• No. Spouses cannot hire each other as their paid family caregiver.

Can parents get paid for taking care of their children?

• It depends. Children age 21 or older can choose their parents to be their paid caregiver. Children younger than 21 cannot choose their parents to be their paid caregiver.

Can siblings get paid to care for each other?

• Yes. CDPAP home care consumers can choose their siblings to be their paid family caregivers.