Military Family Leave

Military Family Leave

The Medical Leave Act for a Covered Military Member

There are many challenges that military families will find themselves facing throughout their lives. Whether this involves caring for an injured service member, figuring out alternative childcare after a spouse has been deployed, or any other military events that may come up when in the line of service, being able to find time to take care of their well-being can be difficult. This is where military family leave comes in, to help take care of the major events and even crises in life.

Fortunately, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 can provide assistance for military family members and their covered active-duty loved ones.

Keep reading to find out more about how the FMLA can help you or your military family members get paid family leave and receive the medical care you need!

What is the Family Medical Leave Act?

Family Medical Leave Act

The FMLA provides job-protected leave for individuals who are struggling with a serious illness or have a dependent family member with a serious health condition. While the time taken will be unpaid leave, not having to worry about losing your job or its benefits can make taking time off much less stressful.

In 2008, The Military Family Leave provisions were added to the FMLA. This addition details specific protections meant to cover the needs of military families.

With these provisions, a covered service member will be able to make any financial or legal arrangements for their own or a loved one’s care without having to worry about active duty orders or an impending call to active duty.

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Who is Able to Use Military Family Leave?

In order to be eligible for FMLA leave, you must be working for a covered employer. For the most part, private employers with 50 or more employees will be covered by the law. Private employers who have less than 50 employees will not have FMLA coverage, but may still be able to receive this support through state family and medical leave laws.

Local, state, and federal employers, such as those employed through elementary and secondary schools will be covered under the FMLA, no matter how many or how few people are employed through these government agencies.

Of course, working for a covered employer is not the only requirement for taking FMLA leave. There are additional criteria that must be met before you are able to receive this support, including:

  • Having worked for your employer for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Having a minimum of 1250 service hours under your employer within 12 months before taking leave.
  • Working at a location where at least 50 people are employed, or this amount of employees are located within a 75 mile radius of your main worksite.

What are the Military Family Leave Provisions?

Military Family Leave Provisions

Qualifying Exigency Leave

The deployment of a family member to a foreign country can be incredibly life-changing. Whether they are with the armed forces, the national guard, or any other branch of the military, the responsibilities that come with these positions can be overwhelming and difficult for all involved individuals.

Even without the presence of a medical issue, the deployment of a loved one can require you to have to make several life changes, which can require taking time away from work. With short-notice deployment, or any other qualifying exigency arising, you may be able to take this form of military family leave.

Eligible employees will be entitled to qualifying exigency leave, which allows them to work a reduced schedule or take up to 12 workweeks of leave under the FMLA in order to arrange alternative childcare, move their children over to a new school, attend meetings and official ceremonies, and figuring out other post-deployment activities.

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Who is able to take Qualifying Exigency Leave?

In order to be able to take qualifying exigency leave, you must be the spouse, parent/guardian, or child of the injured or ill military member.

Military Caregiver Leave

If you have become responsible for the care of an injured or seriously ill servicemember or veteran, taking FMLA leave can help relieve some of the stress that comes with having to worry about your job while caring for your suffering loved one.

If you are the spouse, blood relative, or legal caretaker, work for a covered employer, and are a qualifying employee or employee’s spouse, you may be eligible for caregiver leave. As a military caregiver, you will be able to take up to 26 work weeks of leave within a period of 12 months to care for your dependent loved one, so long as they have a qualifying serious injury or illness.

While this will not be paid leave, providing family support and being able to spend time away from the stress of work can be rewarding in its own sense. Of course, there are additional resources available to help cover the financial burden of your and your loved one’s recuperation leave.

Who is able to take Military Caregiver Leave?

In order to take military caregiver leave, you must be the domestic partner or spouse, guardian, child, blood relative, or next of kin of covered family members in the military.

Using Military Family Leave for Rehab

Using Military Family Leave for Rehab

Despite the stigma that still hangs over addiction, individuals who are struggling with this condition do qualify for unpaid FMLA leave. Substance use disorders can heavily impact your physical and mental well-being. In extreme cases, your addictive behaviors can even become life-threatening.

It is for this reason that, if you or a dependent loved one is struggling with addiction, putting in an FMLA leave request and undergoing medical treatment for this condition can be exactly what you need to overcome your substance abuse and take back control over your life.

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The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Connection

For many people, mental health disorders and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand. This is because, for many people struggling with mental disorders, the negative thoughts and feelings caused by these conditions can drive them to drug and alcohol abuse.

This is especially true for active military members and retired veterans who have seen combat or faced any other traumatic event while in the line of duty. Many women who have served in the military, for example, report experiencing sexual assault while on active duty status.

Regardless of the type of trauma that was experienced while in service, these distressing events can often lead to the development of disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.

With these mental health conditions, for many people, addiction is not far behind. In these cases, seeking out dual diagnosis treatment and assistance programs can be crucial for their ability to successfully overcome both their trauma and their substance abuse.

What are Common Methods of Addiction Treatment?

Common Methods of Addiction Treatment

There are many ways in which substance use disorders can be treated, as addiction is a very personal disease. Not everyone will respond to treatment the same; if you are struggling with substance abuse, your treatment plan will need to be specifically catered to your needs in order to successfully overcome your condition.

For those with more severe addictions, they will usually be encouraged to seek out medical detox programs, as well as residential or inpatient treatment options. These programs will be more intensive than other levels of care and can provide constant support and supervision to their clients.

If you are struggling with a less intense addiction, or have other unavoidable financial and legal arrangements, an outpatient status may be a better option.

While these programs do not provide 24/7 support, they may be able to provide a necessary level of emotional support and guidance without restricting their client’s ability to carry out their daily routine and responsibilities.

Ultimately, how you choose to receive treatment for your addiction will be entirely up to you. With that being said, speaking with your doctor or an addiction specialist can help you narrow down your options and find a care facility that will be best for your recovery needs.

Speak with a FAR representative today to learn more about the Levels of Care in Addiction Treatment and which of these may be best for you!

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FAQs for Military Family Leave

How Can I Pay for Substance Abuse Treatment?

As stated, FMLA leave is unpaid, meaning that individuals who are struggling with addiction may want to avoid seeking treatment due to concerns over the costs of rehab. These fears may be due to a lack of insurance, not wanting to face repercussions for their substance abuse with their work or military status, or otherwise having a lack of external support.

Fortunately, these concerns do not have to become a roadblock to getting the help you need. If you do have insurance, most policies will have coverage options for addiction and mental health treatment services.

While the exact level of coverage you may be able to receive will vary based on your insurance provider and plan, being able to receive any sort of financial assistance can make your recovery process far easier, and way less stressful.

You can speak with a Find Addiction Rehabs representative today, or use our fast and free insurance verification tool to figure out what levels of care are covered under your healthcare policy and find rehab facilities nationwide that will accept your insurance.

What Is TRICARE Insurance?

TRICARE is an insurance company that is well-known for its dedication to providing both retired and active military service members, as well as their families, with healthcare coverage. Sponsored by the United States Department of Defense Military Health System, TRICARE insurance provides coverage for all branch members of the U.S. military system.

With Tricare insurance, taking military family leave and prioritizing your self-care can be made much less stressful and far more affordable.

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Take Military Family Leave for Rehab: Find Help Today!

Addiction is a chronic disease and, as discussed, will require professional and medical treatment in order to be successfully overcome. If you or a family member is a covered military member and are ready to seek treatment, help is available.

By using the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to take temporary military family leave, you can start your recovery journey while making sure your and your family’s futures are protected. At Find Addiction Rehabs, we understand how important it is to find treatment options that are able to work with all of your care needs.

Our hotline is available 24/7 to answer all of your or your family member’s recovery questions, and connect you with affordable and effective rehab programs nationwide. So don’t wait; call now, and let us help you get started on your path to sobriety today!

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