If you are a single parent and are addicted to alcohol and feel your best chance of becoming sober is to seek care in an inpatient alcohol treatment center, you probably have some concerns about how being away from work and home while in treatment will affect your life and your children. Don't let a few concerns affect your decision to get the treatment you need. Here's what you need to know.
Alcoholism can be considered a disability by the Social Security Administration. If you meet the qualifications of having a disability, your employment will be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Due to alcoholism being defined as a disability, time taken to get treatment in a inpatient facility is also protected under the Family Leave Act. You won't lose your job from getting inpatient treatment.
You will need to provide the Social Security Administration with medical evidence to support your claim of having a disability. To do this, get a complete physical screening from your health care provider, which will include liver function tests and a mental health evaluation. Alcoholism is classified as a substance abuse disorder, which is a mental health disorder.
Another thing you may be worried about is how your family will be affected by your stay in an inpatient facility, especially if you are a single parent. Of course, you will need to find someone else to care for your children while you are in the facility, whether this is the other parent, a family member, or friend.
Consult with a family law attorney regarding giving the person who will be taking care of your children temporary guardianship. That way, you won't need to be concerned about being available to make any decisions on an emergency basis when you won't be immediately available to do so while in care. For example, if your child falls and breaks his or her arm, the guardian will be able to sign medical documentation at the hospital when he or she takes her there for medical care.
Upkeep and maintenance will need to be continued while you are getting treatment. As a single parent without another adult living in the home, you'll need to find someone to help. Enlist the help of a few neighbors, family members, or friends to take care of maintenance and upkeep, such as mowing your lawn in the summer or shoveling the sidewalk in the winter.
Another concern you may have is how household bill payments will be made on time while you are away. If you are able to, schedule your payments in advance online. If you can't or there are bills that you typically pay by check, post date the checks and send them out. It is crucial, however, that you inform your bank in writing that you've written post dated checks so they cannot legally cash them before the dates you wrote on the checks. A written notice will cover you for six months. An oral notice will only cover you for 14 days.
If you take medication, you may be concerned about continuing the medication while in the inpatient facility. You will need to show proof that the medication was prescribed to you by your physician. However, you won't need to carry your medication to the facility. The treatment center has a pharmacy in house. If you take over-the-counter medication, you will also need a note from your physician regarding the need for the medication.
Inpatient treatment centers understand these concerns and work with their patients to ensure these types of stressors are eliminated.
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