Health Care Attorneys for Licensed Professionals

Howell, Buchan and Strong Logo

Exemptions from Disqualifications

Exemptions from Disqualification

Your health care career is your livelihood. But when you are deemed "not eligible" based on the results of a Level II background check, you must apply for an exemption from the disqualifying offense the background check uncovered to be permitted to work.

This is known as an exemption from disqualification. It’s not a simple process and just because you might be granted an exemption, doesn’t mean your criminal history changes. It simply only provides eligibility for employment in a health care setting. It’s important to note that you have 30 days from the receipt of your “not eligible” letter to be able to keep working through the exemption process.

Get the latest updates on Important AHCA Updates to Exemptions from Disqualification in our recent blog.

Getting Started with the Exemption Process

The goal is to get you back to work and that means proving your exemption from disqualification should be granted to you.

Because this requires clear and detailed evidence, official documentation, and a convincing demonstration to the Department of Health (DOH) or Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), your exemption application and assembling the documentation should be drafted and overseen by an experienced health care license attorney.

How an Attorney Can Help

Our legal team at Howell, Buchan and Strong has extensive experience in the exemption from disqualification process and application submission. Howell, Buchan and Strong can:

  • Assist with your application process.
  • Argue the case for an exemption before an AHCA hearing panel or credentials committees of the DOH professional board.
  • Provide required information to prove if you are entitled to an exemption with supporting documentation in the application that delivers “clear and convincing evidence” about your situation.
  • Submit the written information that the State of Florida requires for obtaining an exemption.

Exemption Application Filing Requirements

  • A complete copy of the Final Order or judgment sentencing you for the crime.
  • Written documentation showing your sentence was completed and no further fines or probation need to be served.
  • Letters of recommendations from employers, ministers, and community leaders can be helpful, however, the agencies do not base their decision on these types of letters.

Criteria for Exemption for Disqualification Applicants

  • Unlicensed personnel working for a health care provider
  • Facility owners, administrators, or Chief Financial Officers
  • Medicaid Provider Enrollment
  • Medicaid Managed Care Health Plan (licensed personnel not working within the scope of their license such as a CNA working as an HHA)

Who is Required to Have Exemption from Florida Department of Health (DOH)?

Licensed and certified health care professionals, as long as that health care professional is working in the scope of his or her license or certification (for example: CNA, LPN, RN).

What is a Level II Background Check?

A Level II background check or screening is the same as a criminal history report. Both contain state and national checks for offenses. All employees required by law to be screened pursuant to this section must undergo security background investigations as a condition of employment and continued employment which includes, but need not be limited to, fingerprinting for statewide criminal history records checks through the Department of Law Enforcement, and national criminal history records checks through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and may include local criminal records checks through local law enforcement agencies.

How Long Does It Take AHCA to Decide?

AHCA won’t begin until all required or relevant documentation is received. Once that is received your application is complete and the agency (AHCA) has 30 days to make their decision. Your decision will be mailed by a certified letter to the address on the exemption application. If you are denied, you have 21 days from the date you sign for the certified letter to request an appeal or administrative hearing.

Consult with our Lawyers

Howell, Buchan & Strong represents healthcare professionals and facilities.

Consult with our experiened team at


Contact Us Today
Contact Form Demo (#3)
Top magnifiercross