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FMLA for Rehab in Atlanta, GA

Home » FMLA for Rehab in Atlanta, GA

If you or a close family member have a drug or alcohol addiction, you might need time off of work for rehab. Fortunately, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects you from termination when you take off work for serious health issues. You can use FMLA for rehab so that you can begin your recovery from addiction.

Buckhead Behavioral Health is a fully accredited drug and alcohol treatment facility in Atlanta, Georgia. We also treat dual-diagnosis disorders for those with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

What is the FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that protects your job if you must take leave for specific family or medical reasons. FMLA also ensures that your health coverage continues during this time. However, there are a few limitations to FMLA.

First of all, your employer won’t pay you during your leave. Second, you can only use FMLA for specific reasons. Also, FMLA has time limits that vary somewhat, depending on the reason for your leave. Lastly, you won’t necessarily return to the same position, however, your employer must offer an equivalent position with the same pay and benefits.

FMLA entitles you to 12 weeks of leave per 12-month period for the following reasons:
  • Childbirth and time to take care of a newborn within one year of birth
  • Placement of a child in your care through adoption or foster care and to care for a newly placed child within one year of placement
  • To provide care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health issue
  • Serious health issues that inhibit your ability to perform essential functions of your job
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that your son, daughter, spouse, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty”

FMLA entitles you to 26 weeks of leave per 12-month period for military caregiver leave. This means that you are the primary caregiver of a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin who is a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

Overall, FMLA allows you to care for yourself or immediate family members when serious health concerns arise, and you need time off from work. Since you might not have enough paid time off to take care of the serious issues mentioned above, FMLA ensures that you won’t lose your job when you take unpaid leave.

In other words, under FMLA, your job and health coverage are protected, as long as you take your leave within the parameters of the law.

Can I Use FMLA For Rehab?

Yes, you can use FMLA for drug and alcohol rehab. As stated above, the FMLA protects you from termination to take 12 weeks of leave for any serious health issues that inhibit you from performing your job duties. Since substance use disorders (SUD) are serious mental disorders that affect all areas of your health, you can use FMLA for rehab.

In addition, FMLA leave can be used to care for a spouse, child, or parent needing rehab. So, if you must be home to care for an immediate family member during an outpatient detox program, for example, you could use FMLA. FMLA can also be used for mental health disorders, which often co-occur with SUD. And, this extends to caring for family members with mental health disorders as well.

How Do I Know If I’m Eligible for FMLA?

As long as you meet the criteria listed above, you should be eligible for FMLA. However, you can also speak to your employer about eligibility. If your company has a human resources (HR) department, they can help you through this process.

There are a few other factors that determine your eligibility for FMLA, including the following:

  • You must discuss the issue with your employer or HR department first—in other words, you aren’t protected if you stop going to work without any notice 
  • You need to be a full-time employee at your company for at least 12 months before using FMLA
  • Your employer must have at least 50 employees within 75 miles of your workplace
  • You need to have one of the qualifying reasons listed previously

In addition, you will need some proof of the issue at hand. This will most likely include medical information and a diagnosis from a healthcare provider.

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Can I Still Be Fired If I Used the FMLA?

The FMLA protects you from being fired when you need leave for a serious medical or family issue. So, you can’t be fired for using FMLA—unless you exceed the limitations outlined by the law. For example, if you take off an additional week or two on top of the 12-week period, this could lead to termination of employment.

FMLA also doesn’t protect you from employment issues occurring before taking leave. Thus, you could be fired for performance issues occurring before FMLA leave. Or, if you had a string of issues that were leading to termination, being on FMLA doesn’t protect you.

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What Are My Rehab Options Under the FMLA?

Under the FMLA, you have several rehab options—as long as the provider is qualified as a substance abuse treatment center. You’ll want to find a place that has licensure from the state or third-party accreditation. Accreditation and licensure ensure that the facility practices evidence-based treatments and is proven to help clients achieve positive outcomes.

In addition, you also have options for different types of programs. Many people need to begin with inpatient detox and then move on to residential treatment. Since these programs require clients to live with the treatment facility, you will need to take time off from work to attend.

You can also use outpatient treatment under the FMLA when the program requires a significant amount of time. For instance, partial hospitalization programs (PHP) require you to attend six days a week during normal business hours. Thus, a PHP program wouldn’t fit around a normal full-time work schedule.

After your FMLA leave runs out, you can attend a more flexible program, such as an intensive outpatient program (IOP). Furthermore, IOP programs offer additional options, with evening hours and virtual options. That way, you can continue intensive treatment while working full-time.

Services Offered at Buckhead Behavioral Health

At Buckhead Behavioral Health, we offer several evidence-based treatment services for substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. These services include the following:

  • Individual and group therapy: Therapy can help you overcome several issues related to substance abuse. You can benefit from both individual and group therapy sessions.
  • Psychiatry: Psychiatric medications can help you treat underlying and co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): MAT programs combine FDA-approved medications, like naltrexone and Sublocade, with behavioral therapy to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders.
  • Trauma Therapy: Traumatic experiences are common among those with substance use disorders. Trauma therapy can help you overcome these experiences and thrive in recovery from addiction.
  • Family Therapy: Addiction is a family disease, and the whole family needs to heal in recovery. Our family therapy program helps families cope with addiction and its affect on the family.
  • Brainspotting: Deriving from Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR therapy), brainspotting is an innovative therapeutic technique that treats post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and similar disorders.

In addition, we offer holistic approaches to addiction treatment, such as red light therapy, nutritional counseling, and mindfulness practices. These approaches help to round out your treatment program and address issues related to physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.

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