Deciding to ask for help and seeking drug or alcohol addiction treatment isn’t easy, but it’s both the most challenging and rewarding decision you can ever make.
Inpatient and outpatient programs are some of the most effective and reliable ways to achieve sobriety. Unfortunately, for many people, treatment can be expensive, and many in recovery require time off work, as well. If you have concerns about how to pay bills while in rehab and aren’t sure how you’re going to manage your finances along with treatment and recovery, our Sebring drug rehab shares some tips that can help.
Do You Get Paid While in Rehab?
Many people worry about going to rehab for fear of losing their jobs. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) both provide protection and prevent people from being fired for going to rehab for a substance use disorder (SUD) or alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, you can be fired for going to rehab if your addiction interferes with your ability to work.
It's within your employer’s rights to terminate the individual if their addiction is interfering with their ability to consistently and correctly carry out their responsibilities at work. Unfortunately, these are common problems among individuals with drug and alcohol use disorders, along with frequent tardiness and absences from work. As a result, many addicts are unemployed.
It’s also important to note that you likely will not get paid while in rehab, as this is not required of your employer. However, if you are not using drugs or alcohol at work and these substances have not interfered with your ability to work, but you need to go to rehab, then your employer cannot fire you for doing so. This means that your position is guaranteed during and after you’ve received treatment.
Additionally, despite protections from the FMLA and ADA, neither of them covers individuals who are in active addiction or currently using drugs or alcohol. However, there are other ways of approaching addiction treatment services that may be protected by law.
Tips for Paying Bills While in Rehab
If you’re going to start inpatient treatment, you might be worried about how to pay bills in rehab, and rightfully so! There are several reasons patients are concerned about paying bills during treatment. Some may be unable to afford their bills due to debt and/or unemployment, while others simply won’t have access to their bank accounts or payment methods for the duration of their care. These don’t include the financial effects of substance abuse.
Below are some measures you can take ahead of time to ensure you can pay your bills in rehab.
- Create a budget: The first thing you should do is create a budget. This includes laying out how much money is coming in (if there is any) and how much is going to be going out, as well as any debts or outstanding payments. Try and find small subscriptions or things of that nature you can temporarily cancel to cut costs. You should also list any debts or pending payments by priority (latest payments to most recent, for instance). Doing this can help you see where you need the most financial support and decide on the best plan for paying your bills while in rehab.
- Appoint a financial guardian: This should be someone in your life whom you trust to manage your finances. This is the easiest first step to managing your finances while in rehab. You and the person you assign as your financial guardian will need to sign legal documentation specifying that this individual is your representative while you’re in rehab. These documents lay out the rights of all parties involved as well as any limitations. The person you choose can be a lawyer, family member, close friend, spouse, or even an accountant – just make sure it’s someone you trust.
- Set up prepayments: If assigning a financial guardian isn’t an option, and affordability isn’t exactly an issue for you, bill prepayment may be an option. Many credit providers and companies will allow you to pay your bills ahead of time or schedule future payments. If a company doesn’t allow you to do this, put the money into a bank account (it can be a separate one if you’re worried about automatic payments or spending it) and ask companies to automatically take the money from the account instead of waiting for you to manually make the payment.
What If I Can’t Pay My Bills in Rehab?
Rehab is an important investment in your health and future, but the expenses associated with it have brought many to a point where they’re struggling to pay their bills. However, this doesn’t have to be the case for you. There are a few options that can help you pay your bills while receiving addiction treatment.
As we previously mentioned, start by making a budget. This will give you an idea of where you’re spending the most money, the payments you need to make, and any lingering debt that needs your attention. Then, whether it’s to pay your bills or pay for rehab, consider reaching out to supportive friends or family members for loans or donations.
If they’re skeptical about you using this money for drugs or alcohol, assigning a financial guardian and/or allowing them to directly pay the bill may help alleviate their worries. If you’re still working, ask your employer about accessing short-term disability payments while you’re in rehab. While it likely will be less money than you receive while working, it might be just enough for you to pay your bills.
It’s also important to remember that you won’t have as many expenses while in rehab. Especially if you’re going to a residential rehab center, the facility will provide you with everything you’ll need for the duration of your treatment.
Get Started Today
If you’re worried about making payments while in rehab, don’t be afraid to reach out to the admissions team at our Sebring, FL, drug rehab. Our facility will do everything it can to help you or a loved one finance your recovery and ensure that you’re ready to return to life after rehab.