Family Leave for Parents with Troubled Kids
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that was passed in 1993 that helps families balance health needs with work requirements. According to this law, Americans who are going through personal or family health issues are entitled to up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave in a 12-month period as well as the continuation of their employer health insurance coverage during this time. Depending on your employer, this time may be paid or unpaid.
FMLA leave can be invaluable for working parents whose children are facing unexpected physical or mental health issues. Using FMLA leave to focus on your family can help relieve some of the stress if your child is struggling with substance abuse or needs residential treatment for other mental health concerns. Learn more about your rights when using FMLA for a child in rehab when you read on for information from the experts at Ascend.
Can You Use FMLA Leave to Focus on Family?
Taking FMLA leave is a relatively simple process. Before requesting leave, check to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements:
- Do you work for a covered employer?
- Private-sector employer with 50+ employees working 20+ weeks each year
- Local, state, or federal government agency
- Public or private elementary or secondary school
- Have you worked for your employer for 12 months or more, consecutively or not?
- Have you worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding this leave?
- Do you work in an area where your employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles?
If you can answer “yes” to all of the above, you are likely to qualify for FMLA leave.
Does Your Situation Qualify for FMLA Leave?
FMLA leave is designed to help you focus on either your own personal health needs or the needs of a family member. You might take FMLA after having a baby, adopting a child, or while caring for a seriously ill family member.
You can also take FMLA leave while your teen is in rehab. The serious health conditions covered by this law include physical or mental conditions that require inpatient care or continuing treatment. If your teen is struggling, using FMLA leave to focus on your family can help them feel supported in recovery.
At Ascend, it’s especially important that you remain available to participate in family therapy while your child is with us. We recommend at least one session of family therapy per week, but depending on your teen’s personal treatment plan, it may be more. Family involvement, whether through therapy sessions or structured visits, can help every member of the family heal.
Using FMLA for a Child in Rehab
There are a few conditions for using FMLA leave to focus on your family. Some employers may require that you submit a certification of the health claim issued by a healthcare provider. Your employer is required to provide you 15 days to submit this certification. You DO NOT have to provide your employer with medical records, just a note from a doctor. You should provide your employer with five days notice before taking your FMLA leave.
Family Involvement at Ascend
At Ascend Healthcare, our goal is to help teens and their families heal. Using FMLA leave to focus on your family can help you be present and involved in your child’s recovery. When you choose Ascend, you can rebuild and repair your relationships, improve communication skills, and help your child prepare for the transition back to everyday life.