In the US, there is an addiction crisis. People from all walks of life need help with their substance use disorder, but not all have the resources to be able to do this. Some people who have a drug problem have resources to take time off to cope with their issues and get help. People who are employed full-time may be able to keep their employment and go to addiction treatment using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
What Is FMLA?
FMLA is a federal law that requires employers to provide their employees with an alternative to losing their jobs when there is a medical crisis in their family. People can take it for themselves, or, sometimes as a caregiver as well. It can be used for things like cancer, car accidents, maternity leave, and addiction treatment. When approved, allows a leave of absence for up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period.
Are You Eligible for FMLA?
It’s possible that if you’re employed full-time, you will be able to use FMLA for your leave of absence. If you work for a larger company (more than 50 people) and have worked full-time for at least a year, it should be available to you.
If you work for a state, local or federal employer, such as a school, you’re covered by FMLA no matter what as long as you’re full-time.
Not every employer will offer this benefit for drug or alcohol addiction, so it’s important to speak with human resources or have your treatment center help you navigate benefits before you make your official plans.
How Does FMLA Work?
FMLA is typically an unpaid leave of absence that allows you to take time off for up to 12 weeks. Some employers will offer additional benefits, such as paid leave, but the bare bones law exists to help you keep your job.
The FMLA official descriptions say that it “provides certain employees with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to work instead of taking leave.”
Hopefully, while you are away, you can take care of primary responsibilities or have help when you do so.
Getting help for a drug abuse problem can seem overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Recovery is always possible, no matter who you are or how much you use. Learn more about your options and using FMLA and insurance benefits for your treatment program by calling us at 619-363-4767.