New York State of Opportunity

New York State Department of Civil Service Announces Examinations Open to All Qualified Individuals

Direct Support Assistant

Applications Accepted
Tests To Be Held


Exams Included on This Announcement
Exam Number Exam Title Salary Grade Beginning Salary
20-983Direct Support AssistantSG-9$37,507
20-984 Direct Support Assistant (Spanish Language)SG-9$37,507


Appointees in the New York City area (Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond [Staten Island], Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties) will receive an additional $3,026 annual downstate adjustment. Appointees who work in Dutchess, Orange, or Putnam Counties will receive an additional $1,513 annual mid Hudson adjustment.

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Minimum Qualifications


Either 1. graduated from high school or have earned a high school equivalency diploma (such as a GED) or higher;*

Or 2. a Direct Support Professional (DSP) Certificate from an accredited public or private organization.**

*You must include the name and location of the high school or governmental authority that granted the diploma in the "Education" Section of your application.

**You must include the name and location of the organization that granted the DSP Certificate in the "Education" Section of your application and you MUST supply a copy of the Certificate with your application.

There will be a written test administered in English only, which you must pass. If you pass the written test, you must meet the QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT.


  1. License Requirement: You must possess a valid license to operate a motor vehicle in New York State at the time of appointment and continuously thereafter.
  2. Physical/Medical Requirements: Your physical and medical condition will be evaluated to ensure that you are able to satisfactorily perform the duties of this position with or without reasonable accommodation. A complete statement of the physical and medical standards is available at: A medical examination will be required prior to appointment, and you are responsible for payment of the clinical laboratory test fee. Please note that the medical examination includes psychological and drug screening. Appointees to this position may be required to undergo periodic medical examinations to reassess their ability to perform the essential duties of the position.
  3. Background Investigation/Justice Center Review: The names of all prospective employees will be:

    • Checked against the Staff Exclusion List (SEL) maintained by the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. Prospective employees whose names appear on the SEL as having been found responsible for serious or repeated acts of abuse or neglect will be barred from appointment and may have their names removed from the eligible list(s) for the title(s);
    • Investigated through a Criminal Background Check (CBC). All convictions must be reported. Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor or any falsified or omitted information may bar appointment or result in removal after appointment. Each case will be determined on its own merits, consistent with the applicable provisions of state and federal laws;

    and may be:

    • Screened against the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR). Prospective employees whose names appear on the SCR may be barred from appointment.

    You will be responsible for payment of all required fees.

  4. Medicaid and Medicare: In order to be eligible for appointment and to maintain employment, you cannot be listed as an excluded individual or entity on any of the Federal and/or State Medicaid and Medicare exclusion lists (or excluded from any other Federal or Federally assisted program). If you are appointed and subsequently listed as an excluded individual or entity on any of these lists (or excluded from any other Federal or Federally assisted program), you may be terminated from your employment.
THE POSITIONS: These positions are located throughout the state in facilities and community-based programs operated by New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Refer to "How & Where To Apply" on page 3.


  1. Fingerprinting is required at the time of appointment. You will be required to pay the processing fee.
  2. Your high school diploma or equivalency diploma must have been awarded by a high school or educational institution accredited by a regional, national, or specialized agency recognized as an accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education/U.S. Secretary of Education. If your high school diploma was awarded by an educational institution outside the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. You can write to the Examination Information Desk of the NYS Department of Civil Service for a list of acceptable companies who provide this service. This information can also be found on the Internet at You must pay the required evaluation fee.
  3. Facilities of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This includes all holidays. These positions may require working on various shifts during the week and on weekends. Candidates' preferences would be considered, but shifts will be assigned at management's discretion.
  4. This examination uses the same test as the Developmental Disabilities Secure Care Treatment Aide Trainee examination. A candidate cannot be tested more than once during the same test form period. Each test form period runs from July 1st through June 15th of the following year. If you take the test more than once during the same test form period, you will not receive a score for the second test.
  5. Transition examinations Nos. 10-048 and 10-049, Direct Support Assistant, are also offered for employees of OPWDD. Contact your personnel office for the appropriate application form.
  6. If you submit an application for No. 20-984 Direct Support Assistant (Spanish Language), an application for No. 20-983 Direct Support Assistant will automatically be submitted for you. If you are successful on the examination, your name will be placed on both lists.
  7. Language Proficiency: If you are considered for appointment to a language parenthetic position, you will be required to pass a performance test to demonstrate your proficiency in the language. Proficiency must be at a level that will ensure your ability to properly perform the duties of the position. If other language parenthetic positions are established, the examination for Nos. 20-983 and 10-048, Direct Support Assistant will be used to fill those positions.
  8. If you are successful on this examination, your name will be placed on the open-competitive list for the facility where you applied for the exam. You may also request that your score be transferred to the open-competitive lists for Direct Support Assistant and Developmental Disabilities Secure Care Treatment Aide Trainee at other OPWDD facilities. Instructions on how to have your score transferred will appear on your written test score notice.

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As a Direct Support Assistant, you would help individuals with developmental disabilities lead richer lives. Under supervision, you would provide supports and services which involve advocating for, encouraging, guiding and teaching individuals in expressing personal choice, ensuring community integration, assisting individuals with personal hygiene care, toileting, lifts and transfers, dining, dressing, and meal preparation. You would help individuals to participate in games and recreational programs; coach and encourage individuals to develop daily living skills; and provide a clean, safe, and comfortable environment. You would work with other staff to carry out and record care plans and, in accordance with special instructions, you may administer medication. These positions are physically demanding. You would need to be prepared to act to ensure the health and safety of individuals in emergency situations. You must be able to stand, bend, stretch, and lift bedridden and/or incapacitated individuals. To learn more about what direct support professionals do on the job everyday, go to Link).

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Subject of Examination

There will be a written test which you must pass in order to be considered for appointment. The written test will be administered in English and is designed to test for knowledge, skills, and/or abilities in such areas as:

  1. Dealing with daily situations in an OPWDD setting - These questions test for the ability to apply common sense in dealing with daily situations encountered by direct care staff in OPWDD settings. No specific knowledge or training is needed to answer these questions.
  2. Observing and recording situations of daily living - These questions test for the ability to accurately observe and record situations of daily living. Candidates will be given a brief description of a situation of daily living, followed by a number of sentences. Candidates must indicate whether or not the sentences factually and accurately describe the situation presented.
  3. Understanding and applying written instructional material - These questions test for the ability to understand and apply written instructional material. Each question has two parts. The first part presents a short piece of instructional information. The second part describes a related situation. For each question, candidates must pick the one best answer, based on the instructional material and the situation presented.
  4. Arithmetic for daily living -These questions test for the ability to use basic arithmetic in daily living situations encountered by direct care staff in OPWDD settings. The situations involve the application of simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division, as well as interpreting information from simple tables, to answer the problems presented.

Your final score must be 70 or higher in order to pass. Your final score on the eligible list will be determined after adding any wartime Veterans' and Civil Service Law Section 85-a credits.

Important: OPWDD may communicate with you through email correspondence. This may include the notification of your examination results and canvassing you for interest in appointment. It will be important for you to keep your email address, phone number, and mailing address current by contacting the OPWDD facility where you submitted your examination application.

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How to Apply

The examinations for these titles have been suspended. State agencies have an ongoing need to fill these positions and will be accepting applications. To review job opportunities in the below titles, go to State Jobs NY at StateJobsNY - General Public: Home(External Link). To view a full list of titles to be filled without examination for 2023 visit

Additional Information

New York State is an Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of the State of New York to provide for and promote equal opportunity employment, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment without unlawful discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, veteran or military service member status, marital status, domestic violence victim status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, arrest and/or criminal conviction record, or any other category protected by law, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification or other exception.

Appointment to many positions in State government require candidates to undergo an investigative screening. This may include a thorough character investigation, a Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Record History Check, a Child Abuse Registry clearance, or other similar procedures. Candidates may be fingerprinted and may be required to pay any necessary fees for that procedure. Depending on the nature of the job, the criminal convictions discovered, or any falsified or omitted information revealed, the investigative findings may bar appointment or result in removal after appointment.

Eligibility for Employment

You must be legally eligible to work in the United States at the time of appointment and throughout your employment with New York State. If appointed, you must produce documents that establish your identity and eligibility to work in the United States, as required by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Reasonable Accommodations in Testing

It is the policy of the Department of Civil Service, in accordance with the New York State Human Rights Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide qualified persons with disabilities equal employment opportunity and equal opportunity to participate in and receive the benefits, services, programs, and activities of the Department. It is the policy of the Department to provide such persons reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications as are necessary to provide equal opportunity. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation to participate in an examination must note this on their application. Further information is available from the Test Accommodation Unit of the Department of Civil Service at

New York State Residence Is Not Required For Most Positions

However, you must be eligible for employment in the United States.

Continuous Recruitment/Eligible Lists

Candidates who meet the qualifications and pass this examination will have their names placed on the eligible list in the order of final scores, regardless of the date on which they filed or took the test. Generally, the names of qualified candidates will remain on the eligible list for two years. Appeal of ratings will not be allowed as the opportunity for retest exists. The Department of Civil Service reserves the right to terminate this special recruitment program.

S1/TB2 BLM-klr
Issued: 6/2022

This announcement is subject to amendment or cancellation without notice. Do not copy it, or post it to any other site, but link to it instead.