Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Exemption from Disqualification Process

Frequently asked questions for applicants applying for an exemption from disqualification for: as a DOEA Direct Service Provider.

The Department reviews applications and makes decisions on Exemptions for:

  • All Direct Service Providers;
  • This may include licensed personnel not working within the scope of their license (for example: a CNA working as an HHA).

The Florida Department of Health reviews applications and makes decisions for licensed and certified health care professionals, if that person is working in the scope of his or her license or certification (for example: CNA, LPN, RN). For more information regarding the exemption process for licensed or certified individuals with the Department of Health, visit, or call 850-245-4444.

There is no fee for the Application for Exemption from Disqualification.

All documents are required to be legible and in English, to apply:

  • Scan and email all documents to or
  • Fax to 850-617-6595 or
  • Department of Elder Affairs, Background Screening Unit, 4040 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, FL 32399-7000
  • The Department has 30 days to decide once all required or relevant documentation has been received deeming the application complete.

The “not eligible” letter will list all offense(s) from the first disqualifying offense of an individual. To be considered for an exemption, information for all offenses on your criminal history is required. All applicants have 30 days from the date of receipt of their “not eligible” letters to apply for an Exemption; however, if an extension is needed, please contact the Background Screening Unit.  This only applies to individuals seeking employment as a DOEA Direct Service Provider.

Yes, they both contain state and national checks for offenses. All candidates 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.

You must try to obtain this documentation from the Clerk of Courts office, probation office or arresting agency. Documentation from the Clerk of Court and/or the arresting agency must be provided on their letterhead indicating the document(s) are no longer available. You must also provide a signed notarized statement explaining the details of the arrest and the outcome, to include probation or sentencing information, court fees/fines and restitution for each offense for which you are unable to obtain complete documentation.

Rehabilitation includes successful completion of court-ordered treatment, counseling program, education, and training certificates; proof of participation in community activities; and special recognition or awards received. Rehabilitation can also be demonstrated by voluntary participation, as well.

One reference letter must be from a current or most recent employer on the employer’s letterhead. Other letters must be from individuals you have known for at least two years through contact at the workplace, community activities, education or training centers. Individuals providing a Letter of Recommendation should include their name, address and telephone number for verification or possible interview. In addition, each letter of recommendation must be signed and dated within 6 months of your application submission.

A certified letter is mailed to the address on the exemption application. You have 21 days from the date you sign for the certified letter to request an appeal.

  • Pursuant to Section 120.569, F.S., you have the right to request an administrative hearing within 21 days of your receipt of this letter. In order to obtain a formal proceeding before the Division of Administrative Hearings under Section 120.57(1), F.S., your request for an administrative hearing must conform to the requirements in Section 28-106.201, Florida Administrative Code, and must state the material facts you dispute.
  • Pursuant to Florida law, you have the right to re-apply for an exemption at any time. There are no limits as to the number of times you may apply for an exemption.

Each specified agency makes their own decisions regarding exemptions. If you have received an exemption from another state agency you may submit a copy with your application.