When you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder(s), there are many decisions to make. The first is how and where to find help with substance abuse recovery in Biloxi, Mississippi. Typically, the next question is how will you pay for treatment.
The good news is, Mississippi Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center accepts most major insurance plans.
Once you found a treatment center, however, another concern may arise: “Can I put my life and job on hold while I’m in rehab?”
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees that individuals are legally protected if they must take time off from work due to a personal or family health crisis. But, does FMLA cover addiction treatment?
What is the FMLA?
The FMLA is a piece of legislation that was passed in 1993 with the objective of helping workers achieve a beneficial work-life balance without fear that they’re jeopardizing their job or quality of life. It means that you can take care of yourself or a family member in need of health and mental health services without worries about losing your health care coverage or the stability that employment brings.
These are very important issues for the estimated 23 million people who are struggling with substance abuse. It is partly the fear of being stigmatized or losing your reputation and job that keeps 90 percent of the people who need rehabilitation services from reaching out for help.
Using FMLA for Addiction Treatment
The short answer to the question “Does FMLA cover addiction treatment?” is yes. It works in conjunction with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) to protect those who are trying to cope with mental health issues.
Under the FMLA definition, alcoholism and drug addiction are treatable diseases that can be considered both health and mental health concerns. The ADA prevents employers from discriminating against those with disabilities. Drug or alcohol addictions are listed as disabilities under this legislation. That means you can’t be fired or refused employment due to a history of addiction or recovery.
Under the FMLA, individuals working for companies that meet the criteria are guaranteed up to 12 weeks of paid leave for:
- The birth of a child
- During the transition of fostering or adopting a child
- Caring for a critically ill family member, such as a parent, child, or spouse
- Attending to your own health during a serious illness
Those 12 weeks of leave can make all of the difference when you’re in recovery. It allows you or your family member to focus solely on recovery during those first critical weeks and months of sobriety. You’re able to get the kind of help you need in a safe environment among trained addiction specialists and peers who are committed to your success. That kind of environment and support are crucial when you’re learning new skills and healthier coping mechanisms.
The inpatient program at MDATC lasts for approximately 30-60 days, followed by an intensive outpatient care program (IOP). We also offer aftercare support to help you transition back to your life once you’ve completed your initial detox and rehab.
Is Everyone Protected by the FMLA?
Unfortunately, no. The way that legislation and the ADA are written, it does cover the majority of employees in the US.
In order to be protected by the FMLA, your employer must be one of the following entities:
- Company in the private sector employing more than 50 persons for at least 20 weeks out of the year
- Local, state, or federal agency
- Primary or secondary school, public or private
In addition to employer criteria, the employee must also meet certain conditions in order to qualify for FMLA/ADA protection. The first is that you can’t be actively using. The acts only protect those who are seeking treatment and are currently drug or alcohol-free. If you’re caught using at work, your employer has the right to terminate your employment. Your leave time must also be spent in treatment, whether it’s as an outpatient or in a residential facility.
The second important factor is that the FMLA only guarantees unpaid leave. Those with paid leave available will have one fewer concern while they recover. Others will need an alternative means of financial support during their treatment. The treatment itself is covered by health insurance in most cases, but the treatment center must be accredited and licensed. Make sure to check with your insurer about any clauses or catches in your specific plan. Our admissions team can help you with that.
When You’re Ready to Get Help, We’re Here
You risk losing more than your job if you don’t get help for your substance use disorder. We’re pleased to let you know that our facility meets all of the above criteria for coverage. The FMLA and our addiction treatment programs are here for you when you’re ready to get help.
Whether you’re looking for inpatient treatment or you’re interested in one of our other rehabilitation services, the Mississippi Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center is ready to work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. Our facility is just a phone call away.
We’re an intimate, homelike rehabilitation center serving all of the Gulf Coast. Feel free to browse our website or call 855-334-6120 to learn more about our drug treatment programs.