How CDS Works

Make an Informed Decision

Be informed about the requirements of Consumer Directed Services (CDS). Know what responsibilities you will have. Your case manager can provide information about the program.

Notify Your Case Manager

After you receive an overview of CDS from your case manager, your case manager will document your decision. If you chose to enroll in CDS, you will receive a list of agencies that are contracted with HHS to provide CDS services. From the list, you will chose a financial management services agency (FMSA) to administer payroll for your employees and vendors.

Seek Assistance if Needed

  • If you are under the age of 18, your parent will be the "employer of record" for you in CDS.
  • If you are 18 years of age or older and have a legal guardian, your guardian will be the "employer of record" for you.
  • If you are 18 or older and you need help to participate, you may designate a willing person to serve as your designated responsible party to perform any of the employer functions on your behalf

Receive Training about CDS

The FMSA that you chose will provide you with training about CDS and how to fulfill the role of employer. The FMSA will provide information to assist you in making informed decisions when setting wages and benefits for your employees. You, or your guardian, will be the "employer of record;" the FMSA is your "designated agent" for the purpose of processing withholding payments, paying invoices, printing checks, filing employee-related reports and other related tasks.

Budget Your Services

Decide what benefits you want to provide for your employee(s), and consider other expenses to determine the hourly rate of pay for your employees(s).

Be the Employer

After you are enrolled in CDS, you can begin advertising, interviewing, hiring and managing your employees. Your employees will have to meet the same requirements as the employees and respite providers that you had with the direct services agency. Your employees will be required to meet the criminal conviction history requirements prior to being hired to work for you in CDS.

Is CDS for You?

Listed below are seven points that should spell out the benefits of CDS:

  1. Do you want to learn how to be the employer of your personal assistants?
  2. Do you want to be responsible for hiring and firing your personal assistants and respite providers?
  3. Do you want to be responsible for training and supervising your personal assistants and respite providers?
  4. Do you want to be the employer of your in-home respite providers?
  5. Do you want to locate and contract with your own out-of-home respite providers?
  6. Do you want to have the ability to set the wages and benefits for your employees within your allocated funds?
  7. Do you have a guardian or someone who is willing to be designated as your responsible person if you require help to participate in CDS?