Nebraska Licensed Social Worker (LSW) Guide - 2022

AKA: Nebraska LSW License

Last Reviewed: May 5th, 2022

Nebraska Certified Social Worker (CSW) Licensure Process

You can start working quickly by going through the process of becoming a certified social worker. You’ll be able to provide non-clinical, general social work services as a CSW. For instance, you can assist with case management or take on a role as a client advocate. There aren’t many requirements in place, so there’s not much standing in your way to becoming a CSW in Nebraska.

Education Requirements

You have to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to become a CSW. You can begin by exploring this directory of accredited programs in Nebraska. The state currently has six accredited bachelor’s degree programs, along with two master’s degree options. That includes one option each for online classes if you can’t attend in person.

After finishing your degree, your school will need to send the transcripts to the board. The school can email your transcripts to DHHS.Licensure2117@nebraska.gov or mail them. If they choose to mail the transcripts, have them send them to:

Department of Health and Human Services

Licensure Unit

P.O. Box 94986

Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4986

Experience Requirements

While most states require post-graduate experience before licensure, that isn’t the case in Nebraska. Instead, your education will provide everything you need to start your career.

Examination Requirements

Additionally, most states require that applicants pass an exam before licensure, but that step isn’t necessary for Nebraska residents. You do not have to meet any exam requirements to become a CSW.

Background Check Requirements

You won’t undergo a traditional background check when applying to become a CSW. However, you must provide the board with information about all misdemeanor or felony convictions on your record. If you’ve paid fines or gone to court before, you should check with the traffic and criminal courts to see if you have any misdemeanor or felony convictions on your record.

Don’t give up if you do have a record, though. You can provide supporting documentation, including the circumstances around the conviction and what steps you’ve taken to avoid legal trouble in the future. For example, if your conviction was related to drugs or alcohol, you can show proof of completing a treatment program. If you’re currently on parole as a result of the conviction, you’ll also need to include a letter from your probation officer with your application.

U.S. Citizenship/Lawful Presence Requirement

You must be at least 19 years of age and a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident to become a CSW. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you’ll need to provide your birth certificate, U.S. passport, certificate of naturalization, or another document that proves citizenship.

If you’re a permanent resident, you can provide a copy of your green card, Form I-94, or your employment authorization card. Moreover, if you use your employment authorization card, you’ll need to provide your:

  • Approved DACA status
  • Pending asylum application
  • Approved or pending application for temporary protected status
  • Pending application for a status adjustment

Applying for Licensure as a Certified Social Worker

After gathering all the documents, you’ll need to fill out your application to become a CSW. First, download the application for a certified social worker (CSW) and fill it out. Go through the checklist to ensure you include the supporting documentation and mail it to:

Department of Health and Human Services

Licensure Unit

P.O. Box 94986

Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4986

You also might need to include a licensing fee, although the state waives that for those who meet the criteria. You don’t have to pay if you’re under 26 years of age or meet the requirements for a low-income individual. This means that you’re enrolled in a public assistance program at the state or federal level. Or it indicates that your household’s adjusted gross income sits more than 130 percent below the federal poverty level.

You can also waive the fee if you’re part of a military family. In order to qualify, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Active-duty military
  • Military spouse
  • Honorably discharged veteran
  • Spouse of honorably discharged veteran
  • Widow of a deceased service member that hasn’t remarried

If you don’t meet the criteria to waive the fee, you’ll need to include payment with your application. While most states charge the same fee for everyone, it’s a bit different in Nebraska. Instead, the state calculates the amount on the month and year that you receive your certificate.

You’ll pay a $125 certificate fee if you apply in:

  • January
  • February
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

During odd years, you will also pay the $125 fee for various months. For instance, you’ll pay $125 if you apply during one of the following months in 2023, 2025, etc.:

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August

However, you’ll only pay $31.25 if you apply for your license on an even-numbered year in:

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August

The different rates are charged because all certificates expire on September 1 of even-numbered years. Thus, you might have to renew the certificate shortly after getting it. That’s why the licensing unit charges less during certain times.