Page Reviewed / Updated – Jan. 9, 2024

Program Description

New York’s Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is less a program and more a method of receiving benefits under two Medicaid programs: the NY Managed Medicaid Long Term Care Program and the Community First Choice Option.

With the Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance option, elderly and disabled N.Y. residents who are participating in either of the above Medicaid programs can maintain control over who provides their care services. Participants are given the flexibility to hire, train, and supervise their care providers.

Another factor that makes this program especially popular is that friends and certain family members can be hired as care providers. Spouses and legal guardians are not permitted to be paid caregivers, but siblings, ex-spouses, and adult children are eligible. While program participants are responsible for the hiring and management of their care providers, a fiscal intermediary is used to oversee time-sheet processing and employee payments.

Eligibility Guidelines

General Requirements

Participants must access the Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Program through either the Managed Medicaid Long Term Care Program or the Community First Choice Option. Each Medicaid program has its own qualifications, but both programs require elderly or disabled New York residents to demonstrate the need for assistance with their activities of daily living to be eligible.

Financial Requirements

The following income and asset limits apply to both Medicaid programs offering the CDPAP option.

Income Limits
For 2024, the New York Medicaid income limit for a single applicant over the age of 65 is $1,732 a month. For a two-person household with both spouses applying, the limit is $2,351.

If only one spouse of a married couple is applying, the applicant spouse is able to transfer up to $3,853.50 a month in income to their non-applicant spouse. If the non-applicant spouse already has monthly income equal to or above this figure, a transfer of income is not permitted.

Asset Limits
A single applicant is permitted to keep up to $31,175 in resources / assets in 2024. A couple with both spouses as applicants is permitted to retain higher financial resources, up to $42,312.

When only one spouse of a married couple is applying, the non-applicant spouse can keep 50% of the couple’s assets, up to $154,140 (as of 2024). If the couple’s assets are under $74,820, the non-applicant spouse can keep all of the assets, up to this amount. This is in addition to the $31,175 in assets the applicant spouse can retain.

However, not all assets are counted toward the asset limit. For instance, one’s primary home is exempt as long as the equity value does not exceed $1,071,000. Household furnishings, personal items, and one car are also exempt from the asset limits under Medicaid.

Over the Financial Limits?

Persons with complicated cases or whose assets or income are greater than Medicaid’s allowable limits may wish to work with an elder care financial planner or elder law attorney to structure their finances appropriately to qualify for Medicaid. Learn more about how Medicaid planners work.

Benefits and Services

The Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Program allows participants to direct their own care, meaning they are able to select and manage their care providers. The specific services one receives will depend on which program they are participating in, but can include personal care, assistance with the activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living, and skilled nursing services.

Learn more about the two programs that allow consumer-direction via CDPAP:

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How to Apply / Learn More

Interested New York residents should contact their local Department of Social Services to learn more about accessing this program through their Medicaid plan. New applicants must first complete the enrollment process with Medicaid Managed Long Term Care. One can also learn more about CDPAP on the New York State Department of Health webpage.