Maryland’s Community Personal Assistance Services (formerly Medical Assistance Personal Care)

Waiver Description

 In 2015, Medical Assistance Personal Care became Community Personal Assistance Services. The program services are the same.

Maryland's Community Personal Assistance Services (CPAS) are part of the state Medicaid plan and are provided in the eligible individual's home or community residence by self-employed or agency-employed providers. Under this program, ‘self-employed' means program participants choose their own care providers. ‘Agency-employed’ means that care providers are chosen by the program’s administration team. In either case, the CPAS program pays for care.

Maryland’s Community Personal Assistance Services was formerly known as Medical Assistance Personal Care (MAPC) Program. Community Personal Assistance Services / MAPC assists chronically ill, frail elderly, or disabled people in staying in their own home by granting personal support with basic daily living tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and going to the bathroom. It must be an approved personal care provider, certified in first aid and CPR, who is supervised by a nurse monitor that provides the needed care. This program is administered county-by-county.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene manages the budget and directs this program.


Eligibility Guidelines

Community Personal Assistance Services / MAPC serves disabled and senior individuals who qualify for Medicaid. There are both physical and financial criteria when determining eligibility.

Functional Criteria:
Applicants must require hands-on care with their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Their abilities must be at the point where should they not receive assistance they would be at risk for placement in a nursing home. However, an institutional level of care is not a requirement of CPAS. During the application process a county registered nurse case monitor performs an assessment of care needs.

**For seniors who require personal care assistance and meet a level of care consistent to that which is provided in an institutional setting, the Maryland Community First Choice Program may be of interest.**

Financial Requirements:
For applicants aged 65 and older, Maryland uses 75% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to determine eligibility. This figure is approximately the same as the current Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), which for 2018, is $750 / month for a single applicant. Consequently, these financial requirements change each year.

Maryland follows the ‘name on the check’ rule when determining married applicant’s financial eligibility. Only the married applicant's income is counted. Said another way, the income of an applicant’s spouse is not considered when applying for Medicaid. This is only true if the spouse is not also applying for Medicaid.

Maryland limits the value of the individual's countable assets at $2,500, excluding the value of the home and other personal items. If married, the couple may possess a significantly greater amount in resources, which are allocated to the spouse who is not applying for assistance. As of 2018, the applicant spouse can retain up to $2,500 in assets, and the non-applicant spouse up to $123,600.


The financial side of Medicaid eligibility is complicated. Persons unsure of their eligibility should consult with a Medicaid professional adviser prior to application. Read more.


Benefits and Services
  • Personal Assistance - help with their ADLs, such as dressing, eating, and mobility
  • Nurse Monitoring - register nursing oversight of personal care provider services 
  • Supports Planning - assistance planning for and obtaining supports to aid independence

In addition to the above services, participants of the CPAS program may receive other services provided by Medicaid. This includes doctors’ appointments, hospital care, pharmaceutical drugs, home health care, durable medical equipment, disposable medical supplies, laboratory services, as well as mental health services.

*Make note, services cannot be provided in an assisted living facility or an adult foster care home.


How to Apply / Learn More

To seek assistance through Community Personal Assistance Services / MAPC program, contact the nearest county Health Department office and ask about the Personal Care Program. Contact Maryland Access Point at 1-844-627-5465 to locate the nearest office or to find out how to apply by phone. One can also call Medicaid’s Long-Term Care are Waiver Services at 410-767-1739. Read or download and print a brochure about the program here.