Protect Consumer Directed Personal Assistance in New York State

Thursday, February 7, 2019

When the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA/CDPS) program began at AccessCNY in 1992, it quickly became a success. The program allows individuals with disabilities and the elderly to hire and train their own personal assistants to help them with personal care tasks such as bathing, toileting, dressing, and medical transportation. Individuals are assisted by agencies known as fiscal intermediaries (like AccessCNY), who handle all human resources, as well as providing orientation for personal assistants, conducting in-person visits with participants to ensure quality, and giving referrals to other community resources.


Benefits of the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program

  • Empowers people with disabilities and the elderly to control their care and decide who comes into their home
  • Provides a better quality of life and overall higher satisfaction with the quality of care
  • Allows people to get the care they need quickly
  • Provides cost-savings by keeping people in their homes instead of costly institutions, like nursing homes
  • Removes language barriers for participants whose primary language is not English


The Threat to CDPA

In his 2019 budget proposal, Governor Cuomo has proposed closing any fiscal intermediary that was established after 2012, unless they are also an Independent Living Center. This move would close 9 out of every 10 financial intermediaries and leave more than 60,000 people scrambling to find a new CDPA agency. The Governor’s eventual goal is to move the management of CDPA entirely out of local hands and centralize it into one statewide agency.

AccessCNY strongly opposes this proposal for several reasons:

  1. Individuals would be disconnected from local fiscal intermediaries that they have a long-standing and trusted relationship with.
  2. Participants would experience delays in making changes to their personal assistant’s hours/duties/etc.
  3. Removing control of the program from local agencies would reduce participant’s connections to the community and make it more difficult for participants to locate other community resources.
  4. Centralizing all CDPA processes to one agency with limited over-sight presents the potential for higher rates of fraud.



How YOU Can Help


1) Call Governor Cuomo at 1-518-474-8390 and/or write him at the address below and tell him that you do not support the proposed changes to the CDPA program.


The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224


2) Find your representatives here.


3) Write and/or call your State Senator or Assemblymember and ask them to not make changes to the CDPA program.

4) Ask your friends/families/neighbors/coworkers to contact their representatives as well.

The more people that contact lawmakers on this issue, the larger the impact. Below are several resources that you can download to help you in contacting your lawmakers: