As reported by the chapter back in May, Governor Pritzker announced plans during his February budget address to waive licensing fees for nearly 470,000 frontline healthcare workers.
An FAQ was released by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) which provides answers to some of the frequently asked questions around the fee waiver. We have collated below some of their FAQ into the questions most pertinent to social workers. You can still read the original FAQ here.
ABOUT THE WAIVER
Q. Why is IDFPR waiving license renewal fees and initial application fees for frontline healthcare workers?
A. During Governor Pritzker’s budget address in February, the Governor announced plans to waive licensing fees for nearly 525,000 frontline healthcare workers. Licensees in eligible professions whose renewal period takes place during Illinois’ Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024 (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024) will not pay a renewal fee. In addition, individuals who are not currently licensed in Illinois and are seeking licensure in an eligible profession during their renewal fiscal budget years will not pay the application fee..
Q. What are the effective dates of the fee waiver?
A. Fee waivers will be granted for social workers July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024.
Q. Are the fee waivers for new applicants, renewals, or both?
A. Fee waivers will be granted for initial applications and renewals for eligible frontline
Q. Are social workers considered frontline healthcare professions and thus eligible for the fee waiver (renewal or initial application)?
A. Yes. Social workers are included, as well as nurses (Registered Nurses, APRNs, APRN Controlled Substance, Full Practice APNs, Full Practice APN Controlled Substance), Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, Physicians and Surgeons, and Physician Assistants.
Q. Would an initial licensure fee be waived for applicants under endorsement who are licensed in another state?
A. Initial licensure includes endorsement. If an individual is becoming licensed in Illinois for the first time, either through endorsement or by examination, it would be considered an initial application (which would be waived between July 1, 2023- June 30, 2024).
Q. Will my fees be waived if I have been temporarily reinstated under COVID-19 and
would like to apply for full reinstatement?
A. No. The fee for a reinstatement application will not be waived.
HOW TO APPLY
Q. After I login to my online account, how do I proceed in renewing my license?
A. Under the “Renewal/Reinstatement” section, click “Create/Continue a Renewal.” Follow the prompts to renew your license.
Q. What happens if I submit a paper renewal or initial application with a check or
A. For some professions this may not be an option. However, if this occurs, IDFPR will return the check to the applicant/licensee with a letter explaining the fee waiver. IDFPR will process the application received as usual.
If you qualify for a fee waiver, please do not send a payment. If you feel that you need to send a payment and wish to use a money order, please contact the Department at 1 (888) 473-4858 for clarification and further directions. Depending on where you purchase a money order, you may not be able to receive a refund. No fees are required if your license or application is part of the fee waiver.
Q. What happens if I send a money order made out to IDFPR and I am unable to receive a refund?
A. IDFPR will deposit the money order to your name to apply to a future fee.
Q. What happens if I do not renew my license prior to its expiration date?
A. Licensees who do not renew their licenses before their expiration dates will be charged the renewal fee and a late fee in accordance with their profession’s existing Administrative Rules. Renewal Fees will not be waived after the renewal deadline.
Q. When will I know my license renewal window has opened?
A. IDFPR emails all licensees when their profession’s license renewal window opens. Please make sure your email address is up to date with us by logging in here: https://online-dfpr.micropact.com/Default.aspx
Q. How do I renew my license online? What if I do not have an online account?
A. Please use the link below that leads to “renewal tips” for accessing the Online Renewal System (https://www.idfpr.com/ORI.asp). For those who do not currently have an Online Account, you may register and create one by visiting the link here: https://online-dfpr.micropact.com/Default.aspx
Social Worker licenses usually expire on November 30 every two years.
The next renewal deadline will be November 30, 2023. As this renewal window is within Fiscal Year 2024 (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024), renewal fees will be waived.
Initial application and endorsement application fee waivers will begin on July 1, 2023 and run through June 30, 2024.
(Public Act 102-699 Section 5-90)
Have More Questions?
If you have additional questions about getting the waiver, you'll need to contact IDFPR directly. As a service to NASW-Illinois Chapter members, the chapter has an NASW Illinois community in MyNASW. Click here to post your question and have it addressed by chapter stuff.
>> One of the biggest benefits of NASW membership is consultation access to staff about questions like these relating to the social work profession. Become a member today! https://www.socialworkers.org/nasw/join