How to get a waiver
In the previous post we talked about Disqualifying Convictions. Remember that this link is a short list. If you’ve been convicted of something, you’ll need to check here for the full list of convictions that would prevent you from working as a CNA.
If you need a waiver, you should complete the waiver application and have a finger print criminal history records check requested by IDPH through a contracted live scan vendor. If you’re not sure what this means, it will be explained to you when IDPH sends you the information after you submit your waiver application.
**IMPORTANT** No other background check will be accepted. After the Department receives the waiver application, they will send you instructions for having your fingerprints collected.
A waiver will not change your criminal record but it will allow an employer to hire you as a direct care worker or an access worker in long-term care or any other facility that has conviction restrictions.
When IDPH receives your waiver application, they consider the following (taken directly from IDPH’s website):
- Except in the instance of scheduled payment of the court-imposed fines or restitutions, an individual must have met all obligations to the court and the terms of an individual’s parole.
- Fines must be paid and parole, probation release successfully completed.
- Part of the judgment ordered, an individual must have satisfactorily completed a drug and/or alcohol program.
- The age of an individual at the time of the offense, work history, criminal history in Illinois and other states, the amount of time since an individual’s last conviction, as well as other evidence that an individual provides are all considered in determining whether a waiver is granted.
- If an individual has several convictions in recent years or if the offenses were violent crimes they are less likely to have a waiver granted.
- An individual may have been convicted and not sent to jail, may have been fined, given probation or conditional discharge and it still be considered a conviction. If an individual is unsure whether a n arrest or charge became a conviction, contact the circuit clerk of the county in which the arrest took place.
**IMPORTANT** A granted waiver stays in effect unless you are convicted of another disqualifying offense, then the waiver is automatically revoked!! Be aware that if you are listed on the HCWR as an active employee, your employer will be notified that you are not eligible to work as a CNA. Health care employers are required by law to check the HCWR before they hire you to make sure that you don’t have any disqualifying convictions or administrative findings, so it won’t do you any good to try and hide this information.
A good rule of thumb: Be honest on your application and don’t get yourself into trouble.