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Become an Independent Provider

An independent provider is a self-employed person who directly provides services to people with developmental disabilities. They cannot employ someone else to provide services on their behalf. 

Waiver certification applications for independent providers continue to be accepted by DODD through PSM at this time.

Independent providers must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, and one of the following forms of identification:

  • State of Ohio identification,
  • valid driver license,
  • or other government-issued photo identification. 

Independent providers must have a high school diploma or GED and be able to read, write, and understand English at a level sufficient to comply with all requirements set forth in administrative rules governing the services provided.

Independent providers must also hold a valid American Red Cross or equivalent certification in first aid and CPR, including an in-person skills assessment.

Independent providers are not employees of the State of Ohio or employees of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. 

Before You Apply

Before submitting an application for certification as an independent provider, applicants must have successfully completed:

  • Department-provided web-based orientation for independent providers, available in  DODD MyLearning, 
  • and eight hours of training in accordance with standards established by the department that addresses the following topics:
  • an overview of serving people with developmental disabilities, including implementation of individual service plans;
  • an independent provider's role and responsibilities regarding services, including person-centered planning, community integration, self-determination, and self-advocacy;
  • universal precautions for infection control, including hand-washing and the disposal of bodily waste;
  • the rights of people set forth in sections 5123.62 to 5123.64 of the Ohio Revised Code;
  • and the requirements of OAC 5123-17-02, better known as the MUI Rule, including Health and Welfare Alerts issued by the department.

Additional training requirements may apply for some services.

Within 60 days of first providing services, an independent provider must successfully complete training in accordance with service documentation and billing standards established by DODD. These courses are available online at no-cost through DODD MyLearning.

Independent Provider Certification Process

Start with Background Check 

An application packet will not be ready for review until all supporting documents, including background checks, are submitted.

Background checks are submitted directly to DODD from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

To start the background check, visit a WebCheck location.

The results of a background check can take up to 45 days to be completed and sent to DODD.

Create an Account

Create an OH | ID account and subscribe to My DODD to access Provider Services Management. In PSM, create and submit an application to become a certified DODD waiver provider.

Complete Required Training

Certificates of completion will be submitted as part of the application packet.

  • Complete the Initial Overview and Orientation for Independent Providers available in DODD MyLearning.
  • Complete the Eight-Hour Provider Training available in DODD MyLearning, or an alternate initial provider training course that meets the requirements for initial training found in Ohio Administrative Rule OAC 5123:2-2-01 (Provider Certification).
  • Complete Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) training . Only applicants for Homemaker/Personal Care (HPC) or Waiver Nursing services are required to complete EVV training. The EVV training requirement is suspended due to COVID-19 State of Emergency. Applicants should upload a page stating “This item is waived due to the COVID pandemic” when asked in the application for the EVV requirement document. Applicants should complete the training as soon as possible after certification, using their Medicaid number to sign up. Applicants taking the training before receiving a Medicaid number should use “9999999” in the Medicaid number field when signing up for training. Training can be found at: Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) training.
  • Complete First Aid and CPR training. The Department is accepting online training in place of hands-on skill assessment during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Complete Application Packet

The application packet includes the online application and all required supporting documents, including 

  • Social Security card,
  • birth certificate,
  • high school diploma or GED,
  • driver license or state ID,
  • certificates or transcripts for completed training,
  • proof of supplier ID,
  • and background check (which is submitted to DODD from the Attorney General’s Office).

Submit Application and Submission Fee

Pay the non-refundable fee, electronically sign, and submit the application.

All supporting documents must be submitted within 30 days of submitting the application and application fee.

The application is considered complete the date that all supporting documents have been submitted and the background check results are received by DODD. That becomes the application submission date.

After 30 days, applications missing documentation are closed and a new application and application fee will be required.

Application Review

DODD will review and respond to an application within 30 days of the application submission date. DODD may request additional documents as needed.

If the application is approved, DODD will send the application to the Ohio Department of Medicaid, which will conduct a site visit with the potential new agency.

Final Approval Letter

Sent via email, the approval will list the DODD contract number, Medicaid provider number, certification effective date, and expiration date.

Follow the instructions to obtain an NPI as part of a CMS requirement


Tips for a Smoother Process


Consistency is Key

For consistency, always use your full name. Avoid nicknames or shortening your name in PSM and when submitting required documentation, matching the name on your birth certificate, ID, or other documentation submitted.

Choose Services Carefully

In PSM, click "Add Services" to add services that the agency will provide. Click "Withdraw Services" and uncheck any service to end the agency’s certification for that service. Be aware that some services may require additional documentation.  

Check Your Work

It sounds simple, but the most common reasons that applications are delayed for review include

  • documents are missing a signature or date where one is required,
  • documents scanned and uploaded are too dark or too fuzzy for reviewers to read,
  • or the document title does not match the document that was scanned and submitted.