Final Pre-submission Home Care License Application Check
So you have read HCS281 and finally finished your package and are about to send it off to the California Department of Social Services. However you should make a last minute check your package because the DSS will make a preliminary look at your application. If they find you are lacking key parts they will simply not accept the application. Before you send your application verify the following:
Make sure all the forms you filled out are signed and up to date. That means going on the following website and checking every form under “HCS” to make sure it is the latest and greatest.
Verify the check is in the package and the amount is correct. Go to the following website and make sure the amount is the same as posted for Home Care Organization Fee.
Lastly verify you have sent in all the insurance information.
Verify on the statement Certificate of Liability specifies not simply ”General Liability” but
“Professional Liability Insurance.”
Also verify the amount for the coverages are all correct. As of 3/2019 the coverage required is as follows:
|Workers’ compensation policy covering its affiliated Home Care Aides;|
|General and professional liability insurance in the amount of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence and three million dollars ($3,000,000) in the aggregate;|
|Employee dishonesty bond including third-party coverage, with a minimum limit of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).|
Officially accepting your home care license application
Assuming you have correctly met the minimum requirements during their initial review of your application, DSS will call you to inform you that they have officially accepted your application.
They will give you a HCO (Home Care Organization number) and send you information on how to register for the Home Care Administrator test.
At this time it’s good to go online and verify your number and information on the DSS website here:
Your first priority is to, sign up for the administrator class. They currently give 2 classes a month and the seats fill up fast. In order to register you have to fill out a form and mail it with a check . Talk to the person reviewing your application and ask if you can send the check and form to the company that administers the class directly. It will give you a higher chance of getting a sooner online class date.
This is key because of not only the infrequent timing of the class, but also because it can take up to a month after you take the class for the administrators of the class to send out the certificates telling the DSS that you have officially passed the class. Once they get the form and check, the administrator testers send an email confirming the class date and time.
Secondly and very importantly you need to get the administrator and deisgnees fingerprinted. This process usually takes less time. You can call the DSS at the number 1-877-424-5778 to verify they have you listed on their system.
Review of actual Application
Once they receive all the information, they will actually begin reviewing the package. This part can either be the longest or shortest part of the process. If you are in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing this part can take 1- 2 months. However if the working on the application does not know what they are doing, this phase of the process can take up to 6 more months.
They may find issues including but not limited to no/insufficient org charts, summary of classes for training, hiring practices documentation etc.
DSS will specify what is missing but not necessarily how to produce it. Often times it will be a week or more until they actually look at the correction, then an additional week or more to send you documentation that the number is/isn’t sufficient. During this time they will often not be in the office for you to even confirm they received the documentation.
Additionally they may give you another issue to correct or ask for documentation you have already submitted like insurance.
The final part and at time the most frustrating is the final approval of your license. Once the surveyor is done, they will inform you that your license has been preliminarily approved. At this point the surveyor will inform you that they will send it to their supervisor for final review and approval. This process can literally take a few days or months. Also you will have no way to contact the person doing final approval and no information on why the process is taking so long.
I theorize that there is a minimum amount of time all applications must require to be processed so no matter how complete the package is, they will stretch out the time for final submission to fill this time. They may even ask for more documentation at this point of the process.
When your license is finalized you will get a phone call and email that your license has been approved. Also the status of your license will be changed on the DSS website.