When people struggle with addiction and realize their need for help, several factors may still keep them from seeking or committing to treatment. One factor that many consider before going to rehab is what they are going to tell their employer or what may happen to their job while they are in a residential facility.
It is important to understand the qualifications involved with claiming disability for drug rehab and whether or not you can do so.
This information is valuable if you find yourself or a loved one needing time away for inpatient addiction treatment.
Drug Addiction Is a Disability
According to the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Affordable Care Act, drug addiction is a disability when the addiction substantially limits an individual’s ability to function normally in their daily life. Some examples of limited functions include:
- Decreased ability to care for yourself or others
- Decreased performance at work or school
- Problems with sensations, such as seeing, hearing, eating, etc.
- Problems with motor functioning, such as walking or standing
- Problems with cognitive functioning, such as concentrating, thinking, communicating, or speaking
- Problems with internal organ functioning
It is important to recognize that there are circumstances that exclude a person from receiving disability for drug addiction or associated rehab treatment.
For example, any individual that engages in “the illegal use of drugs” is excluded from the definition of an individual with a disability. The illegal use of drugs is defined as the use, possession, or distribution of one or more drugs characterized as unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act.
Therefore, the definition of disability due to addiction mostly applies to those with an addiction to alcohol, prescription drugs, or even an over-the-counter drug, as these are legal substances.
Disability Benefits for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Diagnosed substance use disorders (SUDs) are all considered disabilities. Anyone who seeks out federal financial assistance through disability leave may be covered for several different treatment programs, including, but not limited to:
- Substance use disorder and addiction treatment programs
- Mental health treatment programs
- Hospitals and health clinics
- State court systems
Since SUDs are considered disabilities, a person seeking treatment will likely be entitled to receive behavioral health benefits. This is more likely to apply in situations where an individual has a disability that persists outside of their drug use. This is determined by several factors, including:
- Establishing that an individual has a disability
- Confirming medical evidence that an individual is struggling with an alcohol or other drug addiction
- Determining whether or not impairment would continue after the addiction has been treated
While healthcare insurance providers may cover some or all of one’s substance use treatment, it is unlikely that one’s healthcare plan will offset their lost income while they are in drug rehab.
Short-term disability insurance is meant to step in and provide benefits if a person is unable to work due to a chronic illness or injury. Some disability insurance policies may exclude substance use claims, although other policies cover disabilities due to addiction and other SUDs. To receive short-term disability benefits, an individual will have to prove their substance use disorder is disabling.
They will need a clear medical diagnosis and documentation by a professional that identifies their struggles with drug and alcohol use. If that person qualifies, their insurance company will pay them a monthly benefit while they are receiving treatment at an addiction center.
People in this situation may be eligible for employer-funded or private long-term disability. Long-term disability insurance also has unique limitations and exclusions, which can be determined by one’s current insurance policy.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has proven effective in healing severe addiction to opioids and other substances. MAT is the use of FDA-approved prescription medications, in combination with psychotherapy and other behavioral therapies, to help treat substance use disorders and addiction.
MAT medications are administered in a controlled, clinical setting. They are typically used to enhance the psychotherapy process by allowing clients to experience relief from substance use withdrawals and cravings enough to make the therapy process effective. In many cases, a client experiencing extreme and unmanageable cravings is unable to engage in the therapy process, which hinders the effectiveness of therapy. MAT can help solve this issue.
Many people may question whether or not MAT excludes someone from receiving disability because MAT involves the use of drugs. However, these drugs are legal, prescribed, and taken under the supervision of a trained health professional, meaning individuals receiving MAT cannot be excluded from protection under the federal disability rights law.
If you still struggle to understand the circumstances and factors involved with receiving disability while you receive SUD treatment, speak with your healthcare insurance provider and potential rehab facility.
Your treatment center can work with you to come up with the best route to take for treatment and recovery while keeping you as financially stable as possible. You deserve a life free from substance use and addiction, so take your first step toward recovery today.
Start the Journey to Recovery with DetoxNearMe.com!
When it comes to recovery, understanding healthcare insurance policies, such as disability coverage, can be challenging. It is important to work with your potential treatment facility and your current insurance provider to understand what factors play into the financial costs of drug rehab.
Your first step to recovery must be professional drug & alcohol detox. Finding a detox center can be nearly as complex as unraveling the issues around disability leave, however.
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