MaineCare Consumer Directed Attendant Services (CDAS) Program

Page Reviewed / Updated - Apr. 2015

What is a Medicaid Waiver?
For persons with limited financial resources, Medicaid pays for nursing home care. For those who wish to live at home or in assisted living, sometimes Medicaid will pay for care in those locations if it can be obtained at a lower cost than in a nursing home. It does this through "Medicaid Waivers," which are also called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers or Waiver Funded Services.

Waiver Description

Under CDAS, the adult children of aging parents can be paid to provide caregiving services.

CDAS is a Medicaid program (Medicaid in Maine is more commonly referred to as MaineCare). Under the CDAS program, consumers are empowered to select, hire, train and manage their own care providers instead of having the state administrators select caregivers on their behalf. This consumer directed model of care is also referred to as participant direction, self-direction and cash and counseling. To avoid confusion it is worth mentioning that these services are also referred to as personal care attendant (PCA) services, or simply attendant services.

It is the intention of this program to help individuals remain living in their homes and communities by providing care services in those environments instead of requiring individuals to move into a nursing home residence. As mentioned previously, consumers are able to select their own personal care providers, certain family members are among those who are eligible to be paid caregivers. Parents and spouses cannot be hired however the adult children (of aging parents) can become paid caregivers provided they are not also the legal representative of the parent.

 Maine has a similar program with consumer direction for non-Medicaid eligible seniors called the Home Based Care Program.


Eligibility Guidelines

To be eligible for the MaineCare CDAS program, participants must be at least 18 years of age and have a permanent and verifiable disability that limits their ability to care for themselves and manage their activities of daily living. Individuals cannot reside in a hospital, nursing home, intermediate care facility or other private, non-medical, residential care facility. They also cannot concurrently be receiving care services from other MaineCare programs in which personal care is offered. Finally, they must be financially eligible for MaineCare which consider the applicant's income, assets and asset transfers.

For Single Applicants - the 2015 income limit is $2,199 / month and the countable assets limit is $10,000.

For Married Applicants - the combined monthly income limit is $4,326 and the asset limit is $15,000.

For Married Couples with One Applicant - the applicant can have income of $2,199 / month and assets valued at $10,000. The non-applicant can have up to $2,980.50 in monthly income and $119,220 in assets.

Maine residents who are unable to pay for the care they require may still qualify by way of the Medically Needy program or by working with a MaineCare planner to re-structure their financial assets so they become compliant.  Learn more.


Benefits and Services

The exact services provided under the CDAS program are specific to the participating individual and are determined during enrollment in the program. They are and re-assessed periodically to ensure their needs are continuing to be met. Participants can receive Personal Care Services (PCS) up to a maximum of 28 hours / week. PCS can include any or all of the following:

  • Assistance with the activities of daily living such as bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, mobility assistance, eating and medication administration.
  • Assistance with the instrumental activities of daily living such as grocery shopping, meal preparation and clean up, housekeeping, laundry and assistance with money management.
  • Care Coordination Services / Case Management
  • Skills training for the individual hired as a Personal Care Attendant


How to Apply / Learn More

The CDAS Program is run by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services; one should contact their local office. A list of offices and their contact information is available here. One can also read more about the program in the very comprehensive MaineCare benefits manual available here.