NASW Member Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about EAPrefer

Questions about Professional Liability Insurance

Questions about Enrollment, Participation and Paperwork

Questions about NASW Chapter Involvement

Questions about EAPrefer

What is EAPrefer®?

In 2010, NASW Assurance Services (NASW ASI) introduced the new NASW member benefit, EAPrefer. EAPrefer is comprised entirely of NASW members.

EAPrefer offers a state-of-the-art database with all participating social workers that includes their location, areas of expertise and licensing. Our EAP network provider partners are given access to that database and encouraged to search for qualified social workers that can help counsel their clients in need.
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What does EAP stand for, and what does it provide?

EAP stands for Employee Assistance Program, a workplace employee benefit intended to help individual employees with personal issues adversely affecting their work, health and well-being.

EAPs typically involve short-term counseling by qualified professionals and referral services, either to individuals or groups. Employees are provided assistance to address such issues as aging parent/caregiver concerns, substance abuse, marriage and relationships and financial stress, among others. Group EAP cases typically include critical incident stress debriefing and management, workplace training and workshops.
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Who uses EAP services?

Many businesses offer EAP services for their employees to use. Businesses offer this benefit because they are concerned with the well-being of their employees and because they may reduce short-term disability and missed work days by providing this assistance to their employees.
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What is an EAP network provider?

An EAP network provider is a company that administers EAP benefits to the employees of its client companies and employers.
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What is an EAPrefer affiliate?

An EAPrefer affiliate is an NASW member who has met the requirements of participating in the EAPrefer program and is enrolled in the program.
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What is the EAPrefer affiliate pool?

The EAPrefer affiliate pool is the collective group of NASW members who have enrolled and qualified to participate in the EAPrefer program as EAPrefer affiliates.
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How does EAPrefer work?

EAPrefer has developed a proprietary system, with security measures, to enroll members and collect the information required for them to participate in the EAPrefer program, including, but not limited to, the NASW member name, contact details, education, experience, specialty, geographic service area, licensing and professional liability insurance information.

This information is used by EAPrefer network providers to search for and select EAPrefer affiliates for
potential EAP case assignments. All network providers participating in the EAPrefer program have agreed to pay participating NASW members that qualify as EAPrefer affiliates a competitive per hour session fee (minimum of $60.00 to 65.00 depending on the nature of the services provided and geographic location).

The EAPrefer network provider will call or email the participating EAPrefer affiliate and review the details of the case opportunity and compensation. If acceptable to the EAPrefer affiliate, the network provider will initiate the case assignment.

EAPrefer will monitor the case assignments and establish tracking metrics to ensure that the EAPrefer affiliate is paid properly. EAPrefer does not assign cases.

EAPrefer will maintain the integrity and security of the participant system, continue to add to the pool of eligible participating NASW members, continue to seek approved EAPrefer network providers and maintain frequent and strong communication links with the NASW Chapters and the NASW National organization.
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What is required for NASW members to participate?

There is no cost for you to participate in the EAPrefer program — it is a benefit of NASW membership. NASW members who want to participate will be required to complete an enrollment application process that establishes that they meet, at minimum, the criteria below and provide the following information:

    • Active NASW membership
    • MSW (minimum required for EAP clinical case referrals; minimum BSW for training and workshops)
    • State license(s) in force
    • Professional liability insurance in force
    • EAP experience/years of practice
    • EAP specialties identified
  • Location(s) identified
  • Contact information
  • No criminal history
  • No professional sanctions or pending licensing board complaints

In order to uphold the excellent reputation of the social work profession, NASW ASI must require that participating NASW members meet the same or higher than industry standards regarding EAP eligibility requirements.
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Do I need to have any EAP industry related certification or credential?

No. We do not require our participants to hold any EAP industry related certification or credential. It is our belief that master’s-prepared and licensed clinical social workers already have the qualifications and experience necessary to provide EAP services. We also understand that the time and expense it requires to obtain additional certifications or credentials may be prohibitive to some. However, if you do posses a certification or credential relevant to the EAP industry, you can include that information in your database profile.
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What specific license is required in my state in order to provide EAP services? Where can I go online to find out more about it?

To provide EAP services, you must have a state license that allows you provide counseling without supervision. Specific state requirements can be found by visiting the Association of Social Work Boards website Select “find a licensing board” under the “social work licensing” section.

However, as these requirements may be subject to change, you should contact the state(s) in which you intend to provide counseling services to verify the requirements and apply for any necessary licenses.
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I am currently licensed in two states; do I need to send a copy of each license?

Yes. A copy of each current state license with expiration date should accompany your application.
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What supporting documentation will I need?

You will need copies of the license that your state requires in order to provide EAP counseling services, as well as your professional liability insurance policy. In addition, you will need to complete the EAPrefer program enrollment form either online or by mail (application can be uploaded from the EAPrefer website).
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Do I have to maintain an office to participate in EAPrefer?

Ideally, you should have an office outside your home to meet with clients, but you can also share a space with colleagues or use the services of an incubator facility. The most important aspect is to provide privacy for your client. An office is not required if you, the EAP professional, are providing training at the worksite or at a nearby meeting conference center.
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I have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW), is there any way I can participate in EAPrefer?

Yes. Occasionally, there are needs for EAP professionals to lead training programs at the worksite or at nearby training conference locations. Social workers with BSW degrees may be offered opportunities to lead these sessions. Typically these activities do not require state licensing, but it is up to you to confirm that with the EAPrefer network provider and your state.
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Who benefits from EAPrefer?

This NASW member benefit has the potential to generate increased case referrals and compensation for NASW members who enroll as affiliates in the EAPrefer program. It will also help employers and their employees cope with a variety of personal and workplace issues. There is no cost to the participating NASW member, and NASW ASI receives no payment from participating EAP network providers, nor any portion of the payment received by the NASW member participating as an EAPrefer affiliate.
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As an NASW member, what will I receive for participating in EAPrefer?

NASW members that qualify and enroll as EAPrefer affiliates will be eligible to receive case assignments from approved EAPrefer network providers with session fees of at least $60.00 to 65.00 per hour, depending on location and EAP specialty involved. Fees paid as a result of participating in one case assignment (a case typically includes 3 to 5 sessions each at a minimum of $60.00 to 65.00 compensation per hour) could potentially offset most or all of your annual NASW membership dues expense.
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What case volume can I expect as an EAPrefer affiliate?

The number of cases you receive as an EAPrefer affiliate will depend on many factors, including how many case assignments are available from the EAPrefer network providers; whether there is a good match between a specific case and your qualifications, location, and availability; and the number of cases you wish to take on. EAPrefer affiliates are free to take on as many, or as few, cases as their schedule allows.
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How was EAPrefer developed?

EAPrefer was under review and development in 2009 by an external consultant in concert with a joint NASW and NASW ASI team that conducted comprehensive industry research and nationwide focus groups, and had significant interaction with EAP industry players and network providers nationally. In early 2010, it was decided that the EAP initiative could be of great benefit to NASW members, and ASI developed and implemented the program nationwide.
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What role does NASW ASI play?

NASW ASI is acting as a facilitator to connect you and other NASW members with EAP network providers who are in need of social workers to provide short-term counseling services. NASW ASI is responsible for program development, infrastructure, management and ongoing administration, including recruitment and enrollment of qualified NASW members like you for program eligibility. Case assignments, case management, and fee payments are the responsibility of the applicable EAPrefer network providers. NASW ASI does not receive any portion of your payment for EAP services provided.
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Professional Liability Questions

Do I need professional liability insurance to participate in EAPrefer?

Yes, you will need to provide documentation of professional liability insurance in the amount of at least $1 million per lawsuit and $3 million aggregate per year in malpractice protection.

And, if you to purchase professional liability insurance, check out NASW-Endorsed Liability Insurance Program as an option. Our professional liability insurance program is designed by social workers for social workers. NASW members receive a 15% discount. Click here to learn more about the NASW-Endorsed Liability Insurance Program.

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Will participation in this EAPrefer program increase my professional liability premiums?

Participation in the program probably will not increase your premiums, but it’s important to check with your insurance carrier to be sure.
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How do I obtain professional liability insurance, and does it have to be through NASW ASI?

If you would like to purchase NASW-Endorsed Professional Liability Insurance, you can do so my visiting or by calling (855) 385-2160. To receive NASW coverage, including exclusive benefits and discounts, you must be a member of the association.

Or, if you prefer, you can also contact another professional liability insurance carrier or insurance agency to purchase a policy.
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Do I need full-time professional liability coverage or is part-time coverage acceptable?

This depends on your specific circumstances; you should confirm with your insurance provider, however, that your policy will cover services you would provide through the EAPrefer program.
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How do I sign up for the EAPrefer program? Whom do I call? How long does it take?

There are many ways to enroll in the EAPrefer program. You may utilize the website or send your application by mail. If all of your documentation is ready and available, the enrollment process should take about 15 minutes.
Once you are enrolled, your details will be made available to EAPrefer network providers who are looking for social workers through the EAPrefer affiliate system. We are also mailing and emailing information to members in the states where we have established EAP network provider partners.
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After completing my application, how will I be contacted and receive cases?

Once you have completed the enrollment process, and we have received and filed your appropriate documentation — including state license and professional liability coverage — you may begin receiving email and/or telephone case referrals directly from the EAPrefer network providers. The number of referrals that you receive will depend on a number of variables, including location, employee needs and your specialty areas of expertise.

EAPrefer affiliates will receive a minimum of $60.00 to 65.00 per hour for counseling services depending on the nature of the case and its geographic location.

Will cases be referred to me that are close to my area and how is that geographic limit determined?
In most cases the geographic area is within 35 miles. However, you may indicate your preferences during your enrollment. The EAP network providers are experienced in case referrals and strive to match clients with a qualified professional who is nearby.
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What are the major categories of counseling that EAP professionals provide?

There are quite a few, but most EAP professionals provide short-term counseling (typically 3-5 sessions per case) on drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, child welfare, health problems, disabilities, financial stress, mental health, family issues, aging parent, marriage counseling and critical incident stress management. EAP professionals also provide group training at the worksite or in nearby meeting facilities on a variety of topics.
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Can I be classified among several categories of counseling specialization?

Yes. During the enrollment process, we encourage you to identify every category in which you can provide counseling services, as this will increase the likelihood and frequency of case referrals.
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Can family members be included in the sessions if it is a family-related issue?

The EAPrefer network provider will determine whether family members can participate in the sessions.
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Do guidelines differ for providing counseling through an EAP than for my regular practice? What’s my obligation to the client? What’s my obligation to the EAPrefer network provider? How do I balance those? Are there guidelines for that?

Upon receiving a case referral as a participating EAPrefer affiliate, these topics will need to be addressed between you and the EAPrefer network provider.
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What are some of the ethical considerations, such as privacy and social worker/client confidentiality, I should be aware of in providing EAP counseling services?

Just as in your regular practice, EAP case counseling is a private matter between you, the social worker, and your client. The employer is not privy to what is discussed with the social worker providing counseling. Each EAPrefer network provider includes confidentiality language in its contract with participating EAPrefer affiliates.
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What happens if, after the first few one-hour EAP counseling sessions, the client wants to continue counseling with me?

The EAP network provider determines the next steps, which may include an extension with you or another EAP professional.
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I am a NASW member with a group practice. Is each clinician in my group required to complete the application?

Only those NASW members in your group practice who are interested in participating in the EAPrefer program need to complete an application. EAPrefer welcomes any and all qualified NASW members to become EAPrefer affiliates. To request more information, email us at and put “Request for EAPrefer Partnership” in the subject line.
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What is the geographic range for cases referred to me?

In most cases the geographic area is within 35 miles. However, you may indicate your preferences during your enrollment. The EAP network providers are experienced in case referrals and strive to match clients with a qualified professional who is nearby.
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What is my relationship to NASW ASI and the network provider?

Do I need to sign a contract with each EAPrefer network provider in order to receive case referrals?
Upon the first EAP case referral with the EAPrefer network provider, the provider will email to you a contract that it uses with other EAP professionals outlining the terms, conditions and requirements of your retention, as well as details regarding payment. You will be required to execute a contract with each EAPrefer network provider from which you accept case referrals.
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Will I be employed by NASW ASI, EAPrefer or by individual EAP network providers?

NASW ASI is simply acting as a facilitator to bring NASW members like you together with EAP network providers who are in need of qualified social workers to provide EAP services to their clients in need. You will contract directly with each EAP network provider, and the relationship between you, as the EAPrefer affiliate, and the EAPrefer network provider will be as an independent contractor. You will not be an employee of NASW ASI or of the EAP network provider.
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Payment, Paperwork, Evaluation and Schedule-related Questions

How many cases per month will I be assigned?

There are no limits to the number of cases you might be assigned or accept as an EAPrefer affiliate. However, it is difficult to anticipate how many cases a month will be assigned to the same practitioner, since it will depend upon the service demand and your availability. As the EAPrefer program continues to grow and more network providers join the program, case referrals should increase.
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How much time is involved in each case?

At present, the maximum number of sessions per EAP case is five, one- hour sessions. The EAPrefer network provider will determine if additional hours are needed on a case-by-case basis.
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What kind of flexibility can I have in my work schedule?

One of the benefits of the EAPrefer program is that you can tailor it to your schedule. Accept as many, or as few, cases as your schedule permits. As is often the case in providing counseling services, many clients will prefer to meet before or after their working hours.
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Can I continue working my other full-time and part-time job and use this work to supplement that? Can I work following retirement?

Yes, you can! You can accept as many, or as few, EAPrefer cases as your schedule permits. You must maintain your status as an active NASW member, and continue to meet all state licensing and professional liability insurance requirements.
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Will the hourly rates vary by EAPrefer network provider? If yes, what are the rate ranges?

We expect that the rates will vary based on the EAPrefer network provider and the geographic location as is consistent with the industry. EAPrefer will negotiate the highest rates possible for its EAPrefer affiliates, with a minimum of $60.00 to 65.00 per session hour.
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How soon will I be paid, and by whom?

EAPrefer network providers have agreed to pay the EAPrefer affiliate directly within 45 to 60 days of the services being provided. NASW ASI, however, will not be a part of this process, cannot guarantee payment and will not receive any portion of the payment, but will monitor the program in order to identify any problem areas.
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How much paperwork is involved, and do I have to invoice?

Enrollment in the program is easy and can be done online (website) or by mail. Some of your documentation will need to be submitted via email or fax.

Once you are enrolled and providing services, there will be certain documentation required by the network provider in connection with the services you provide, and you will be required to submit its pre-established form to report the number of session hours that you have provided.
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Who is responsible for maintaining client files for the individuals I will serve through EAPrefer?

The client files are maintained by the EAPrefer network provider after the final counseling session.
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How will my EAP service and work be evaluated?

In most EAP cases, the client will provide feedback as to the quality of the counseling services either directly to the EAP network provider or to the human resources department of his or her employer, in which case that feedback is related back to the EAP network provider. You may also wish to ask the patient and the EAPrefer network provider directly for feedback.
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Chapter-related Questions

How is information about EAPrefer being communicated to NASW members?

NASW ASI and NASW are using a variety of marketing and communications channels to reach members about this new benefit. We have developed a new EAPrefer website, a program newsletter, and other informative materials. We will continue to rely on chapter support in promoting the program to members via their regular marketing channels (e.g., newsletter, e-mail, website, conferences, and meetings).
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How will NASW chapters be involved?

During the program roll-out, NASW ASI solicited input from each chapter and worked through them to communicate the launch of EAPrefer. The endorsement of EAPrefer by chapters is invaluable to the success of the program, and NASW ASI is grateful to have the chapters refer interested members to it for enrollment in the program.
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Does the chapter recruit EAP network providers?

No. NASW ASI requests that the chapters do not solicit or recruit prospective EAP network providers. However, the chapters may refer them to NASW ASI for future consideration. NASW ASI has established an approval process for our EAP network provider partners to ensure legal compliance and economic efficiencies that are for the benefit of all NASW members.
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