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Licensing and Certification Program

COVID-19 Home Health Aide (HHA)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Professional Certification Branch has prepared this list of FAQs to assist stakeholders with questions about temporary waivers of specific requirements for HHAs and HHA applicants due to the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The information provided here is based solely on the CDPH's All Facilities Letters (AFLs) and the Governor's Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 state of emergency. For general information about the licensing and certification process, please visit the Licensing and Certification Program webpage.

Initial Certification

I am enrolled in an approved certification training program. Can I work before I receive my certificate from the CDPH?

You must be certified by the California Department of Public Health to represent yourself as a certified HHA.

What should I do if I have not been able to get live scanned?

HHA applicants who submitted an initial application without a completed Live Scan form due to the previous inability to obtain Live Scan services must submit a completed Live Scan form, as soon as practicable, but no later than 60 days after the publication of this AFL.  (See AFL 20-49.1)

What happens if I don't get live scanned by the deadline?

If CDPH does not receive a copy of an HHA's completed Live Scan form (BCIA 8016) showing that this requirement has been completed in the timeframe provided, the status of the HHA's record will be changed to inactive, and the HHA will not be allowed to work until this documentation is received.  (See AFL 20-49.1)

Renewal

Can I renew my certificate during the state of emergency?

Yes. Active HHAs are encouraged to renew following the normal timelines.  (See AFL 20-49.1)

Am I allowed to work if I haven't completed the renewal application process?

Yes. An HHA seeking certificate renewal may continue to work without completing the application process until the end of the state of emergency.  (See AFL 20-49)

What should I do if I am unable to complete my in-class CEUs/In-Service Training for the second year of the certification period?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is modifying the deadline for completing the 12 hours of in-service training for the second year of the certification period until after one full quarter after the declared state of emergency. This waiver temporarily allows HHAs to renew without the 12 hours of in-service training for the second year of the certification period.  (See CMS Waiver 42 CFR §484.80(d))

Requests for these types of temporary waivers must have the code CMS12 circled on the application. Applications may be mailed or faxed to:

California Department of Public Health
Licensing and Certification
Aide and Technician Certification Section
MS 3301, P.O. Box 997416
Sacramento, CA 95899-7416
Fax: (916) 552-8785

Expired Certification

My certificate expired within the last two years. Can I work as an HHA?

An HHA whose certification expired within the previous 2 years or whose certification will expire during the state of emergency may work as an HHA for the duration of the declared emergency without renewal.

Only those HHAs with a status of "active" or "employable during state of emergency", or who have a copy of their certificate that has been expired within the previous 2 years may be employed.  (See AFL 20-49.1)

Can I work if my HHA certificate expired over 2 years ago?

At this time, CDPH has not waived or offered any flexibility for those who have certificates that have been expired for over two years.  (See AFL 20-49.1)

General Questions due to COVID-19

For how long are these temporary waivers valid?

These temporary waivers are valid until the end of the declared emergency.

How can a facility verify that an HHA is eligible for employment during the state of emergency?

All facilities must check the CDPH's online verification page to verify employment eligibility. Only those HHAs with a status of "active" or "employable during state of emergency," or who have a copy of their certificate that has been expired within the previous 2 years may be employed.  (See AFL 20-49.1)

Do facilities need to submit an individual program flexibility request to CDPH to hire an HHA using these waivers?

No. Facilities do not need to submit individual program flexibility requests for the waivers described above.  (See AFL 20-49.1)

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