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Understanding New York State's Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP)

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New York’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, also known as CDPAP, is a service funded by Medicaid that is designed to provide assistance to those in the state that have chronic illness or that are physically disabled.

CDPAP helps by offering professional help, in the form of a home health aid or nurse, to qualifying individuals that need help with activities of daily living, or ADLs.

The Benefits of New York’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program

For individuals that qualify to receive assistance from CDPAP, below are some of the major benefits:

Services offered by personal care and home health aids, nurses and home attendants: Individuals receiving CDPAP can select their professional and have the flexibility to change as needed.

CDPAP allows for family members and friends to be hired: This flexibility allows for individuals who provide care freely to family and friends to be compensated for their time and help. (There are some qualifications to this benefit. For example, a spouse providing assistance does not qualify.)

No special requirements or licensing is required by the state: CDPAP allows the person receiving services to select who they want to hire with no stipulations as to what kind of training or licensing they have.

Looking at Other States: How Does New York Compete?

States are not required to offer self-directed Medicaid programs. While many states do have some sort of program for individuals to use, New York stands out as one of the best. For example, states can choose to limit the number of people who receive help through their Medicaid program and who can self-direct. 

Self-direct means that individuals who qualify can hire who they want to provide care taking services. This is what New York’s CDPAP program offers. And while New York offers this flexibility, it does restrict which services can be paid for.

In addition to CDPAP, New York offers the Managed Long Term Care Program, which is strikingly different as it provides a wide range of services that will be covered but drastically limits who can be compensated for these services.

All fifty states including the District of Columbia offer some sort of Medicaid program that offers assistance to individuals who need care in their home setting. While New York offers two different Medicaid options, other states, like New Mexico and New Hampshire, offer only one. Missouri, Maryland, Minnesota, on the other hand, offer three or more options for individuals who need care in their home.

While each state offers programs that they think will be most helpful for the people in their state, New York offers two clear options, both of which are easy to apply to with forms that are straightforward. 

How to Get The Best Assistance from CDPAP?

In order to receive assistance from New York’s CDPAP, an individual must have a Physician’s Order for Services completed. This form must then be sent to the district level social services office. From here, an assessment will be performed that will qualify the individual to receive services and which will also recommend how long and how often the services need to be given.

If the individual that needs services is unable to obtain the services themselves, a person can be designated to act on his or her behalf. Once this person is designated, they become fully responsible for all hiring, training, supervising, and termination of employment.

To learn more about CDPAP in New York, visit Freedom Care’s website please here where they can help answer any questions and get you started with the necessary forms.


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Peter Treadway, PhD

is an independent consultant and money manager and Adjunct Professor in Asia. He is currently is principal of Historical Analytics, LLC. Historical Analytics is a consulting/investment management firm dedicated to global portfolio management. Its investment approach is based on Dr. Treadway’s combined top-down and bottom-up Wall Street experience as economist, strategist and securities analyst. A monthly letter entitled The Dismal Optimist is produced for clients. Dr. Treadway also serves in a part time capacity as Chief Economist, C T RISKS, a new Hong Kong company that will assist Asian financial institutions with their risk management problems. On the educational front, Dr. Treadway has developed a special Masters level course focusing on securities analysis and discounted cash flow and incorporating elements of standard equilibrium pricing models, behavioral finance and historical trends. This course has been given as Adjunct Professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) and the City University of Hong Kong. From 1965-2000 Dr. Treadway had a distinguished career on Wall Street and with major American financial institutions. For example, from 1978-1981 he served as Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. From 1985-1998 he served as institutional equity analyst and Managing Director at Smith Barney following savings and loans and government sponsored entities(GSEs). He was ranked as “all star” analyst eleven times by Institutional Investor Magazine. Dr. Treadway holds a PhD in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MBA from New York University and a BA in English from Fordham University in Bronx, New York.