In alignment with the passage of Senate Bill 803 (SB 803), the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) recognizes certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists as a new Medi-Cal provider type and
Peer Support Services as a Medi-Cal benefit, effective July 1, 2022.
Peer Support Services will need to be Medi-Cal certified before being able to bill.
California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA)
, in partnership with the County Behavioral Health Plans,
is the certifying entity for the state-approved Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification (PSSC) program. More information on the certification process is outlined below.
Peer Support Services are culturally competent individual and group services delivered by certified Peer Support Specialist.
These services augment the SUD treatment services patients receive by promoting recovery, resiliency, engagement, socialization, self-sufficiency, self-advocacy,
development of natural supports and identification of strengths through structured activities such as group and individual coaching designed to set and make progress toward recovery goals.
Medi-Cal Certified Peer Support Specialist:
Per CalMHSA, a Medi-Cal Certified Peer Support Specialist is defined as:
- An individual who is 18 years of age or older;
- Who has self-identified as having lived experience with the process of recovery from mental illness, substance use disorder, or both, as either as a consumer of mental health or substance use treatment services, or as a parent or family member of a consumer of mental health or substance use services; and
- Who has been granted certification under a county Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist certification program.
Peer Support Services may be provided with the patient or significant support person(s), and may be provided in a clinical or non-clinical setting.
DHCS guidance provided in BHIN 21-075
indicates that Peer Support Services include the following services components:
- Education Skills Building:
Provide a supportive environment where beneficiaries and their families learn coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills to help beneficiaries achieve desired outcomes.
Peer Support Specialist-led activities and coaching to encourage and motivate beneficiaries to participate in behavioral health treatment.
- Therapeutic Activity:
Structured non-clinical activity provided by a Peer Support Specialist to promote recovery, wellness, self-advocacy, relationship enhancement, development of natural supports, self-awareness and values and maintenance of community living skills to support the beneficiary’s treatment to attain and maintain recovery within their communities.
Certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists can also serve as Contingency Management Coordinators. To learn more about the Contingency Management Program visit
LA County Department of Public Health - Substance Abuse Prevention and Control - Contingency Management
CalMHSA is currently processing applications for certification for peer workers. For more information, please visit the
CalMHSA Certification Requirements
To seek Certification as a Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist an individual must meet the following qualifications:
Be at least 18 years of age.
Possess a high school diploma or equivalent degree.
Be self-identified as having experience with the process of recovery from a mental illness or substance use disorder, either as a consumer of these services or as the parent, caregiver or family member of a consumer.
Be willing to share their experience.
Have a strong dedication to recovery.
Agree, in writing, to adhere to the Code of Ethics.
Successfully complete the training requirements for a peer support specialist.
Pass the certification examination.
Please note that it may take up to 30 days to process applications.
Additional Information and Resources:
To learn more about Peer Support Certification and Services and sign up for trainings, visit
the SAPC Trainings and Events page
The Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC) has contracted with the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) to provide a
limited number of scholarships intended to cover costs for the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification Program. Each scholarship will cover:
CalMHSA application fee for Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification
Cost of the CalMHSA-approved Peer Support Specialist Core Competency 80-hour training with
the approved provider of your choice
Cost of one Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist certification exam attempt
One retake exam, if preapproved by SAPC on a case-by-case basis
Scholarships are limited, and available until all funds are exhausted or December 31, 2025, whichever comes first.
To apply for a SAPC Peer Certification Scholarship, please complete and submit
the SAPC Peer Certification Application
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Refer to the packet below
Peers Scholarship External Facing Manual
for details on submission, review, and notification dates.
Scholarship Application Process:
Review the scholarship packet to learn
about the requirements to apply for a scholarship.
Apply for the scholarship here
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
|Application cycle dates for submission
|Application review dates
|Applicant will be notified no later than
|February 1, 2024- March 31, 2024
|April 1, 2024- April 30, 2024
|April 30, 2024
|April 1, 2024- June 30, 2024
|July 1, 2024- July 31, 2024
|July 31, 2024
|July 1, 2024- September 30,2024
|October 1, 2024- October 31, 2024
|October 31, 2024
|October 1, 2024- December 31, 2024
|January 1, 2025- January 31, 2025
|January 31, 2025
For additional information about the scholarship process, please see the
compiled by CalMHSA.
For more information on California Mental Health Services Authority Medi-Cal Peer Support Certification visit CA Peer Certification