OMH and OASAS: Restricted Activities & Exemptions for Mental Health/Addiction Professions in OMH or OASAS Settings

December 12, 2023

Many providers have requested that OMH and OASAS clearly articulate the tasks and activities certain staff working in OMH and OASAS licensed / certified Programs and Services can perform with the sunset of the licensing exemption on June 24, 2022.  In turn, the state agencies have been meeting with SED to ensure alignment between SED and the two on these matters with the added wrinkle that SED oversees practitioner scope of practice and licensing issues while OMH and OASAS regulates Programs and Services where these practitioners may work.  It gets complicated.

Below and attached please find guidance from OMH and OASAS regarding restricted activities and exemptions for MH and SUD professionals working in OMH or OASAS settings.  It will take some time to digest this new information.  Let’s talk more about this during our upcoming Thursday morning call at 9:15 a.m. on 12/14.  

———- Forwarded message ———
From: <>
Date: Tue, Dec 12, 2023 at 12:06 PM
Subject: Restricted Activities and Exemptions for Mental Health/Addiction Professions in OMH or OASAS Settings

The New York State Office of Mental Health and New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports issued a memo dated June 22, 2022, regarding the sunset of the Social Work Exemption. The memo includes answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Since the release of the memo, OMH and OASAS have received further inquiries. 

The attached document, titled “Restricted Activities and Exemptions for Mental Health/Addiction Professions in OMH or OASAS Settings,” provides additional guidance. This document is not a substitute for individual practitioners’ responsibility in understanding their own scope of practice, as outlined by the New York State Education Department (SED).

Additionally, as noted in the memo, the enacted legislation requires State agencies, including OMH, OASAS, Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, and Office of Children and Family Services, to maintain a process to verify employment histories of individuals who are exempt under the grandparenting provisions. The attached fillable form and instructions have been developed to provide a verification process that programs may choose to integrate into their employment process. The form is completed by both the employee and the employer. Individuals and programs are not required to use this form, but all programs must establish their own processes for tracking employment verification.

In 2024, OMH, OASAS and the State Education Department will jointly conduct a webinar to review guidance issued on the sunset and provide technical assistance on applications for permits and licensure.

Questions regarding scope of practice should continue to be directed to SED. Questions regarding clarification of staffing requirements for OMH or OASAS programs should be directed to appropriate program specific mailboxes or local field offices.