FMLA can be useful in supporting individuals who are struggling with addiction. This guide explores how and the key information that you need to be aware of. 

If you are struggling with addiction, or a member of your family is experiencing an issue like this, it can seem as though you are facing a constant uphill battle to get the support that you need. However, there is help available worth exploring including the FMLA. 

What Is FMLA?

FMLA stands for the Family Medical Leave Act. This federal law was passed in 1993, by President Clinton. The aim of the law was to ensure that the needs of families and the requirements of the workplace were effectively balanced. The act could be used to ensure that American families were provided with stability and could access employer-provided healthcare during periods of health crises. 

Under FMLA, you can take unpaid absence from work for specific family and medical reasons. The total amount of time that you can take unpaid and job protected is 12 weeks, per year. 

Can The FMLA Be Used To Gain Access To Rehab?

Addiction is a complicated condition. It impacts an individual’s mental, physical and emotional health in a variety of different ways. Due to this, if you seek addiction treatment, such as the options that we provide at Grand Falls Recovery, you will be protected under the FMLA. Ultimately, this means that you will not be at risk of losing your job. 

FMLA can be used for various different types of addictions including both drugs and alcoholism.

Is This Confidential?

You might be worried that if you choose to arrange treatment for an addiction, then information will be shared with other parties. Rest assured, your privacy is fully protected and any substance abuse treatments will remain confidential. A healthcare provider is not legally permitted to share your information with anyone for any reason with the exception of providing you the right level of care. This protection is guaranteed through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. 

However, to qualify for leave under the FMLA, you will need to disclose a medical professionals referral to your employer. This will ensure that your job remains protected during your time out of work.

Who Can Access This Option?

You will be able to take care of medical needs such as recovery from substance abuse under the FMLA if you have worked for a company for more than 12 months as well as 1,250 hours in the last year. The business that you work for must also have at least 50 employees, working within 75 miles of one another. 

What Type of Treatment Options Does FMLA Cover?

The right course of treatment for addiction will depend on the specific type of addiction as well as the duration of substance abuse for each individual. 

For instance, you might require inpatient treatment. This will be necessary if you require round-the-clock care to help manage your treatment and recovery. 

Alternatively, you could also benefit from an intensive outpatient program. This will be suitable for individuals who do not need as much care and supervision as will be included for an inpatient treatment. However, you might still need more care and support than an outpatient solution can offer. 

There are also alternatives such as halfway homes. Halfway homes are useful for people who have completed their treatment for recovery but, are not yet in a position where they can safely return to society without the risk of relapse. These facilities provide a structured environment individuals can use to readjust back into society.

How To Approach Your Employer

Once you understand the support and protection that the FMLA can provide, you will need to speak with your employer. You must be prepared to provide a brief summary of your medical issue and the reason that you are seeking treatment for addiction. You should also provide information on the type of treatment you will be using and the length of treatment required. If you do require an FMLA leave for treatment, you need to give 30 days notices where possible. 

We hope this helps you understand how the FMLA can help you get the treatment you need to recover from an addiction. With this protection in place, you will know you can get help and return to your life where a job and career will be waiting for you. If you need more assistance get in touch today and we can provide more information about who we are at Grand Falls Recovery and how we can assist you.

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