An emergency background study (emergency study) is one that is completed under authority under the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12 (PDF) and the authority granted to the human services commissioner due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This authority temporarily suspends or modifies many of the background study requirements. These measures are being taken to assist entities in providing necessary direct care staffing for critical services to support vulnerable Minnesotans. This includes:
The emergency studies will be valid during the pandemic only. Emergency studies do not include all background study requirements that were in place prior to April 6, 2020. Instructions will be provided about transitioning back to fully compliant background studies in the future. It is expected that entities will submit new applications and study subjects who had an emergency study will need to be fingerprinted and photographed when the transition occurs. This is because the FBI requires fingerprints to be submitted to conduct federal record checks.
No. Fingerprints and photographs are suspended for emergency studies submitted on or after April 6, 2020. Minnesota criminal history record checks will be completed using the study subject’s name and date of birth.
No. The change to using name and date of birth for emergency studies applies all entities based on provider type. The provider types are listed in question #25. The system will not accept fingerprints and photograph on or after April 6, 2020, until the peace time emergency concludes and the fingerprint and photo service resumes.
If your entity currently pays a fee for each background study transaction, the fee for most emergency background studies is $20. On May 20, 2020, the fee for children’s residential facilities will return to $51 and the fee for private agency adoption studies will return to $70 (Full fee applies to Title IV-E eligible provider types).
There are no changes to the background study notices, document or email notifications. Entities will continue to receive electronic copies of background study documentation, and will receive email notifications when new documents and determinations are available. Additionally, there are no changes to the text of the notices.
There are no changes to the background study documents that study subjects receive. They will continue to receive background study documents via the U.S. mail. Study subjects who use the applicant portal to complete the data entry for their application will continue to have electronic access to certain background study documents. There are no changes to the text of the notices.
The initial background study will include:
Note: Federal criminal history record checks done by the FBI will not be completed because fingerprints are required for biometric matching.
DHS has received federal guidance that an out-of-state maltreatment check is required for federal funding purposes. Initially this was not part of an emergency background study. This requirement is now reinstated and will be retroactive. Note: This includes background studies that were completed between April 6, 2020 and May 17, 2020, where a CANR check was not completed.
The following providers require a CANR check for emergency background studies:
Yes. For individuals on an entity’s active roster, the emergency studies will be updated with information from the:
No. Supervision is not required once the background study application is submitted. If the Background Studies Division determines that the study subject must be supervised or removed pending the results of the background study, the entity and the study subject will be notified. If the study subject is ordered supervised or removed, the entity must comply with the order.
The laws for the following services require that the entity receive a clearance or other background study notice permitting the study subject to provide direct contact services. For these services, supervision does not apply and therefore cannot be waived.
All emergency background studies will include “COVID-19 Study” in the final determination status. For example, if the study subject is determined eligible, the study subject’s final determination status will be “Eligible–COVID-19 Study.”
DHS will coordinate with the Minnesota Departments of Health, Corrections and Transportation about the emergency studies. These state agencies and the DHS Licensing Division can access entity’s NETStudy 2.0 rosters to view studies, including those that are tagged “COVID -19 Study.”
Yes. The study subject will be added to the entity’s active roster until the entity removes the individual. Entities are required to separate study subjects from their active roster once the entity is no longer affiliated with the study subject.
In some cases, a background study application will connect to an existing determination, and you will receive a clearance notice immediately. This is part of “transferability” in the NETStudy 2.0 system. When this occurs, the background study meets all of the requirements (prior to the COVID-19 changes) and is a fully compliant study. This means that a new application will not need to be submitted later and the study subject will not have to be fingerprinted (for this study). Studies that “transfer” will show on your active roster. They will not be tagged with “COVID-19 Study” because they meet all of the requirements prior to the changes that occurred on April 6, 2020.
Yes. The change applies to all study types in NETStudy 2.0. An emergency background study permits foster care providers to begin providing services immediately without needing to be fingerprinted and photographed.
Yes. The changes apply to all study types in NETStudy 2.0. An emergency background study permits child care workers to begin providing services immediately without needing to be fingerprinted and photographed.
The expiration date on the “Roster” screen will display for child care studies with a date that is five years from the date the application is submitted. However, these studies do not meet the federal enhanced background study requirements. Disregard the expiration date for emergency studies.
Yes. The change applies to all study types in NETStudy 2.0. An emergency background study permits workers in children’s residential facilities to begin providing services immediately without needing to be fingerprinted and photographed.
Background studies submitted for study subjects who provide personal care, transportation, and housing services will be completed using name and date of birth (i.e., fingerprints and a photo are not required). However, these study subjects must have a clearance or set aside notice before they can be enrolled with Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP).
Note for PCA enrollment:
If your entity has more than one program and is also a Personal Care Provider Organization, personal care assistants must still enroll to receive a unique Minnesota provider identifier (UMPI) number. Minnesota Health Care Provider enrollment will accept cleared emergency background studies that are completed under another program number when the study meets the criteria listed in question 25 and the subject’s background study number is provided on the application that is submitted to provide enrollment (i.e., DHS-4469 Individual PCA Enrollment Application or DHS-4469A Individual Direct Support Worker Enrollment application).
Yes. Adoption background studies are different from the other emergency background studies because they are submitted and processed in the old background study system called NETStudy. To submit an emergency background study for adoption, counties and private agencies should follow the established procedures for submitting the study in NETStudy and sending all required forms to DHS via U.S. Postal Service, with one exception. Do not send the hard card fingerprints. They are not required for an emergency background study.
No. There are no changes to the disqualification and request for reconsideration process.
Emergency studies do not meet all of the background study requirements that applied prior to April 6, 2020 (pre-COVID-19 studies). The following background study requirements are NOT included in emergency studies:
If the study subject’s background study was submitted prior to the change to name and date-of- birth checks, do not withdraw the background study application. If the study subject:
Applications that were initiated prior to April 6, and are in your Not Yet Submitted queue will be converted to emergency studies once you submit the application. If your entity does not remain affiliated with the study subject, remove the individual from the active roster and withdraw the application.
It is not possible to add affiliation records to NETStudy 2.0 rosters for emergency studies. However, study subjects can use an emergency study determination to work in other programs operated by the same entity when these criteria are met:
Note: see question 20 for additional information about personal care and transportation worker background studies.