Key Provisions of the Licensed Master Social Worker Law

The following are the key points social workers need to know about the Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) license that licenses social workers upon graduation with the MSW degree.  Applications will be online only and information and forms can be found at the DPH website The LMSW law changes the requirements for the LCSW in that your 3000 hours of post-graduate experience must be as a LMSW as of May 1, 2015. Also, as of May 1, 2015 all clinical social work in Connecticut must be performed by either a LMSW or LCSW.

  • Upon graduation all MSWs seeking to practice clinical social work must be licensed by passing the Master level examination of the Association of Social Work Boards or attaining a temporary license while seeking the LMSW.
  • DPH is expected by the summer of 2022 to allow MSW students in their last semester of school to sit for the LMSW exam and if the student successfully passes the exam the license will be awarded upon proof of graduation.
  • A one-time temporary license is available for those working in a clinical capacity who have not yet taken the exam. The temporary license is valid for a period of one year until June 30, 2024, and thereafter for 120 days. Until June 30, 2024 you can fail the Master level exam and continue to keep your temporary license until the temporary license expires or attainment of the LMSW. The temporary license’s one year period starts the day the license is issued. Starting July1, 2024 the temporary license is for 120 days, and the license is revoked if you fail the Master exam.
  • LMSWs must practice under the professional supervision of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Marital and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed APRN or Licensed Physician. Supervision is at minimum monthly and must be face-to-face in-person or interactive virtual.
  • LMSWs can only diagnose with consultation of a licensed clinical social worker, psychologist, marital & family therapist, professional counselor, APRN or physician.
  • LMSWs cannot practice independently. As of October 1, 2013 independent practice requires the LCSW.
  • No later than October 1, 2022, LMSWs may treat HUSKY Medicaid clients if employed in an existing private practice under professional supervision. Private insurance varies by company so LMSWs must inquire of the insurer, Medicare only covers LCSWs.
  • The fee for the LMSW is $220 to apply and $195 annually for renewal. The temporary license fee is $50.
  • Licensed social workers will need 15 hours of continuing education each license year starting when the social worker first renews their license. At least one hour every license year must be in cultural competence and two hours every six years must be on veterans and/or veteran’s families (if you are renewing your license for the first time you need to attain the veteran’s continuing education in that license year).
  • Social workers exempt from the new law are: those practicing non-clinical social work including administration, community organization, policy & planning, or research as long as they are not performing any clinical tasks or supervising a clinical social worker engaged in clinical practice with clients; BSWs performing non-clinical functions; nursing home social workers practicing under state and federal regulations; certified school social workers practicing within their school social work certification; and social work students practicing within their internship.

 This fact sheet is for information purposes only. DPH has final say on licensure decisions.