Does FMLA Cover Rehab?

Have you heard of the FMLA but aren’t sure how it works? The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows people to safely leave their jobs temporarily while they work on pressing health issues. These issues are not limited to medical crises such as cancer and chronic diseases. Does FMLA cover rehab? Yes, it does, which can mean the difference between someone deciding to seek addiction and mental health treatment and being afraid to lose their job.

What Is FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act was signed into law in 1993 by President Clinton. It allows employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave from their job in order to receive medical care. When the person returns, they are guaranteed to still have their job or an equivalent one. This makes it possible for people to address serious medical issues away from work without worrying that they will lose their jobs. The FMLA also ensures the individual’s group health benefits will continue during their absence from work. 

Before taking time off, all employees should talk to their boss or HR Dept. to make sure they receive approval to use FMLA. Asking for it after leaving for medical treatment or when returning to work may result in the loss of their job. The person’s employer likely will need to approve of the treatment being sought in order to ascertain that it is a legitimate medical treatment.

Companies and businesses covered by the FMLA include: 

  • Public agencies, including federal, state, and local employers
  • Local education agencies (schools) 
  • Private sector employers who employ 50 or more people for at least 20 workweeks in the current or previous calendar year

Employees eligible for the FMLA must have:

  • Worked for the employer for at least twelve months (the months do not have to be consecutive)
  • Worked at least 1,250 hours within the past twelve months
  • Been employed at a facility that has at least 50 employees who work within a radius of 75 miles
Does FMLA Cover Rehab?

A widely perceived misconception about FMLA is that it only covers typical medical conditions and major illnesses. What many people may not even think to ask is, “Does FMLA cover rehab?” Yes, it does, which opens the doors for a lot of people to take advantage of this program and get treatment. Substance use disorders fall under the heading of serious health conditions. Because of this, the FMLA also covers time off employees need to attend alcohol or drug rehab to address their addictions to alcohol and drugs.

Another thing that may surprise many people is that the FMLA also allows employees to take unpaid time off in order to help care for a family member who is receiving alcohol or drug addiction treatment. A family member is defined as a spouse, child, or parent. 

What Conditions Are Covered By FMLA?

Those wondering “Does FMLA cover rehab?” may be interested to know that several conditions are covered by this act. Conditions that are covered include:

Medical Leave: This includes having a substance use disorder or other serious health condition that requires treatment.

Care For Family Member: A spouse, parent, or child who needs medical care, including rehab.

Military Leave: Deployment or other military-related needs for time off.

Birth or Adoption of a Child: When a child is born into the family or is placed for adoption, this allows time for the employee to bond with their child.

Am I Eligible For FMLA?

If you suffer from a substance use disorder and are willing to go into treatment, this qualifies you for the FMLA. Addiction is recognized as a complex illness that affects a person physically and mentally. Without intervention and treatment, it can leave the employee unable to perform their job at all. 

Certain protocols must be followed to make a person eligible for using the FMLA. The employer may require certification of a health crisis from a healthcare provider. They must allow the employee at least 15 calendar days to provide this information. The employee does not need to give access to their medical records; just proof from a medical provider that the need for rehab is verifiable. 

Treatments For People Using FMLA

Once a person knows that FMLA does cover rehab, they may wonder what treatment is available. Rehab usually begins with a detox program and can continue in either residential or intensive outpatient programs or outpatient programs. Multiple types of therapy that prove helpful in teaching a person to become sober and stay that way exist. Individual therapy, group therapy, holistic therapy, and more can help a person understand their addictions and leave them behind. 

As well, treatment for dual diagnosis can be provided by many addiction treatment facilities. Since about half of all people who have an addiction also deal with at least one mental illness, this opportunity provides valuable help for both conditions at the same time.

Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Tampa Bay

Now that you know the answer to “Does FMLA cover rehab?”, you can begin planning to get the quality medical treatment you deserve. Tampa Bay Recovery Center employs a friendly, expert staff of physicians, nurses, and counselors who come together to form a treatment team with your best interests at heart. Our outpatient programs allow you to still live in your home while you take a break from work and focus on your sobriety and mental health.

If you would like more information about how to take advantage of FMLA and our rehab services, visit our admissions page today. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you have.