Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS)

Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) is a support option for both children and adults with disabilities and seniors who have an approved waiver or Alternative Care program. This option offers participants a person centered approach allowing more flexibility and responsibility for directing and tailoring their own services and supports, including hiring and managing their staff.

The participant directs their resource allocation within the established state, federal, and county approved parameters and guidelines.

The CDCS option places increased responsibility on the participant and their support team. The participant and their support team must document in the Community Support Plan (CSP) how CDCS will enable the participant to live an inclusive life in their community, build a practical network of support, and work on specific goals and outcomes based upon documented needs in the annual assessment.

For more information, watch a DHS video (about 25 minutes) or download the following documents:

Questions about CDCS{collapse}

  1. Who is eligible?{eligibility}

    To be eligible for the CDCS option, the participant must: 
    • Maintain Medical Assistance (MA) eligibility for waivers (including TEFRA for children) AND
    • Receive Home and Community-Based services waiver or Alternative Care program services.
    In order to utilize this option, the participant must be able to manage their support, budget, and services within Anoka County guidelines.

    Prior to beginning the Consumer Directed Community Support process, an individual or their guardian must attend an orientation. Orientations are offered once a month. Ask your case manager for the schedule and to register you.

    The following individuals are NOT eligible for CDCS:
    • CDCS participants who exit the waiver or AC more than once during their service plan year.
    • Participants or their authorized representative who have had their eligibility restricted at any time by the Primary Care Utilization Review (PCUR)
    • Waiver recipients living in residential settings (e.g. foster care, SLS home) licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) or licensed/registered with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Parents of minors that receive payment to care for relative children in their licensed foster home can be a paid parent for their biological/adoptive minor child up to 25 hours per week. 
    • Those currently open to child protection or adult protection may not be eligible.

    To determine eligibility for a waiver, contact our Long Term Support Services at
    (763)324-1450 to schedule a MnCHOICES Assessment.

  2. What are my responsibilities?{myresponsibilities}

    It is important that waiver participants who utilize the CDCS option understand what their rights and responsibilities are when using these services.  Participants and/or their guardian are responsible for implementing and managing this self directed option.
    Anoka County provides information about the CDCS option through the case manager, community informational sessions, and written information to educate participants about available service options, their responsibilities, and the service limitations.  Once the participant is given their annual resource allocation amount, he/she MUST attend orientation to get this process started.
    Waiver funds, using the CDCS option, does not equate to a cash allowance.  Services and/or goods are authorized by Anoka County and may be purchased as part of an approved person centered plan, the Community Support Plan (CSP) using a preauthorized individualized resource allocation.  Participants must choose and work with a fiscal management service (FMS). The FMS is the bill payer, processes timesheets, helps with employer paperwork, provides education to the participant and is either the employer or assists the participant as the employer. All approved goods and services are run through this service. The participant along with the FMS and case managers must  monitor the budget closely so that it is not overspent.  

    Each year the participant will need to be reassessed for eligibility and needs to submit a new Community Support Plan (CSP) to their case manager for approval. 

  3. How is my budget determined?{mybudget}

    For the Community Alternative Care Waiver, Community Access for Disability Inclusion Waiver, Brain Injury Waiver, Elderly Waiver or Alternative Care Program, the budget amount is based annually on a formula using the most recent Long-Term Care Consultation/Reassessment or MnCHOICES assessment.

    For the Developmental Disability waiver, the maximum annual resource amount is based annually on a formula using the most recent Developmental Disability full team screening or the MnCHOICES assessment.

    If your needs remain basically the same year to year, your amount could remain about the same each year. A decrease in the budget is often reflection of growth and progress.
  4. How do I develop my plan?{myplan}

    Once the resource amount is determined, families must complete their own person centered Community Support Plan (CSP) identifying how the funds will be used. The plan may contain a mix of paid and unpaid services, formal and informal supports and goods/items that address the assessed needs. The information needed in these plans is outlined in the mandatory orientation that the participant and/or the legal guardian/designee must attend.

    The plan must include:
    • Supports and services you need and plan to use
    • Costs of each support or service
    • Plans to monitor your services or supports
    • Qualifications of the people that will provide your services or supports
    • Training you would like your supports to have.
    Support Planners, certified by the Department of Human Services, can help you through this process if needed. Services may not begin until the plan is approved by Anoka County. Ask your case manager for a list of Support Planners or go to
    Participants are responsible for arranging their own supports and services as identified in the plan.
  5. What can CDCS funds be used for?{cdcsfundsuse}

    Services and goods must be consistent with the following principles:
    • Focused on the needs of the disabled person
    • Meet health and safety standards
    • Be fiscally responsible

    Goods and services must also meet one of the following criteria:
    • Maintain the ability of the participant to remain in their home or community
    • Enhance community inclusion and family involvement
    • Develop or maintain skills
    • Decrease dependency on formal services
    • Increase independence of the participant
    • Increase the ability of unpaid family members and friends to receive training and education to provide support
  6. How can I get started?{getstarted}

    If you receive waiver services, discuss with your case manager about registering for an upcoming CDCS orientation. 

    If you do not have a case manager or would like to see whether you are eligible for a waiver, contact the intake unit of Long Term Support Services at 763.323.6089. Ask to be assessed for a Home and Community Based waiver. The assessor determines whether you are eligible and assesses your needs, which then determines your state set maximum annual resource amount..

    You can also review the Consumer Directed Community Supports Consumer Handbook DHS-4317 (PDF) .