Massachusetts Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) Guide - 2022

AKA: Massachusetts LICSW License

Last Reviewed: May 10th, 2022

Massachusetts Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) Licensure Process

The Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker can perform every social work role without supervision. That is, LICSW license holders can practice independently. 

Below are the categories of requirements for attaining the LICSW license in Massachusetts:

Educational Requirements

The educational qualification for LICSW licensure require you to meet one of the below levels of education:

  • Master’s degree in Social Works (MSW) from a CSWE-approved institution.
  • Doctor of Social Works (DSW) from a CSWE-approved institution.
  • Ph.D. in Social Works from a CSWE-approved institution.

Here you can find all schools offering social work degree programs in Massachusetts.

Experience Requirements

You will need to meet the requirements listed here:

  • Be a current LCSW holder or a holder of an equivalent license in another state.
  • Acquire at least 3500 hours (or two years) of documented clinical experience supervision after obtaining your LCSW license, including at least 100 hours of individual face-to-face (at least 50 hours each year).
  • If you obtained your MSW degree before August 21, 2011, you must serve your experience requirements over a minimum of two years after the day of your degree award.
  • If you obtained your MSW degree after August 21, 2011, you must serve your experience requirements over a minimum of two years after the issuance date of your LCSW license.

Examination Requirements

The Massachusetts Board of Social Workers requires applicants to pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) National Clinical Social Works Exam. However, the board must screen your application and give the go-ahead before you take this exam.

You can register online for the national clinical social works exam. You can also register by mail, phone, or fax by downloading, filling, and submitting the exam registration form.

Reference Requirements

The board requires two professional references and one advanced field placement supervisory reference.

Professional references must be a:

  • Holder of LICSW licenses or its equivalent in another state.
  • Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist (LMFT).
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).
  • Licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or clinical mental health specialized psychiatric nurse.
  • Your supervisory reference must be a LICSW holder.

Applying for Licensure as a Licensed Certified Social Worker

Complete and submit an online licensure application form to the board OR send your application to the email address for application. The ASWB processes licensure applications on behalf of the state board. Your application should contain the following documents;

  • Certified transcripts of the highest suitable degree from your college. Your college can send the transcript electronically to this email address or in a sealed official envelope.
  • A completed criminal background check in a signed, notarized criminal history acknowledgment form.
  • A 2-inch by 2-inch color passport photograph. The photograph must be clear and scanned, and submitted during the online application or sent via mail with the other application documents.
  • Two professional references.

You will need to pay an application fee of $173.

  • Pay your LCSW licensure fee of $82.
  • The board will notify you by mail if your application has gained its approval or if there are issues to resolve. If your application is approved, proceed to register for the ASWB exam. The ASWB exam registration fee is $260.
  • The ASWB will send your result to the board if you pass the exam.

ACA ORP Requirements for LICSW

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes requirements for Ordering, Referring, and Prescribing (ORP) providers. For  MassHealth services that require ORPs, a LICSW must meet these requirements. For ORP services, the ACA requires;

  • The billing provider supplies the National Provider Identifier (NPI) of the ORP provider in the claim.
  • The ORP provider to enroll with MassHealth as at least a provider.

All Massachusetts LICSWs must enroll only as non-billing providers by downloading the application form and the non-billing provider contract here (also find information on how to join a webinar to receive detailed info). Fill out these documents and submit them to:

MassHealth Customer Service Center

Attn: Provider Enrolment and Credentialing

P.O. Box 121205

Boston, MA 02112-1205

Registering for the ASWB Exam

  1. Online: Visit www.aswb.org and click on “Register to take the exam” to fill out the Registration Form. You can use only credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover) to make payments on this platform.
  2. Mail:  Fill out the downloaded Registration Form or the one provided in the Candidate Handbook and post it along with the examination fee to the ASWB Registration Center, P.O. Box 1508, Culpeper, VA 22701.
  3. Fax: Complete the downloaded Registration Form or the one provided in the Candidate Handbook and fax it to ASWB at 1-540-829-0142. Pay the registration fee using your credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover).
  4. Telephone: Fill out the downloaded Registration Form and call the “Registration Center” on 1-888-579-3926 to register for the examination.

Scheduling and Preparing for your ASWB Exam

After you have completed your exam registration and paid the examination fees, you should receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) via mail. The ATT contains information relevant to scheduling your test with Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE is the private testing body that the ASWB has authorized to administer the tests. The test will be computer-based.

If you live with a disability or have a health condition that may impede your participation in the regular testing, there is an alternative for you. You can learn about the nonstandard testing and the English as a second language option. You can also log in to take an online practice test to familiarize yourself with the examination.