Addiction Recovery - Treatment Professional

Can Disability Cover Outpatient Rehab Treatment?

Can Disability Cover Outpatient Rehab Treatment?

Can short-term or long-term disability insurance cover outpatient rehab? Here's a quick introduction on how you can leverage insurance for treatment.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Addiction Recovery

Treatment Professional

April 27, 2022

One of the biggest issues that arises when seeking addiction treatment is figuring out how to afford the service. Luckily, there are often payment options available for those who can’t afford treatment on their own.

Many treatment centers accept certain kinds of insurance to help cover the cost of treatment. If you are in a position where your addiction has hindered your ability to show up for work, you may be able to qualify for disability insurance. So, the question now becomes, will disability insurance cover the cost of outpatient treatment? 

Outpatient Rehab Treatment

Outpatient rehab is a type of addiction treatment that does not require 24-hour intensive care in a residential facility. This treatment option offers more flexibility than inpatient rehab because you are allowed to return to your home once your daily therapy hours have been completed.

Many people who complete outpatient drug rehab are able to return to work, maintain daily responsibilities, and live at home while receiving treatment.

Outpatient treatment is typically considered aftercare following inpatient treatment, once you have completed the detoxification and withdrawal process along with an inpatient program. It can also be an option when your substance use disorder (SUD) is not severe enough to require residential care and you do not pose a threat to yourself or others.

Outpatient rehab offers a variety of therapeutic treatment options such as:

What Is Disability Insurance?

Disability insurance provides you with benefits or financial compensation if you can’t work due to injuries, chronic illness, or a mental or physical health condition. Disability in the context of substance use is defined as having an addiction that prevents you from being able to do your job or show up full-time for work. This provision is usually run through your employer but is paid out by the insurance company.

Addiction is a complex disease that impacts your ability to function on numerous levels. If you are currently spending time away from work due to drug or alcohol problems, it may be worth checking whether you have disability benefits that can go toward the cost of outpatient treatment. 

Short-Term Disability Insurance

There are two types of disability insurance: short-term and long-term. The biggest differences between the two are the length of time and period in which you will receive benefits. Short-term disability insurance is when the insurance company helps to replace part or all of your income that is lost as a direct result of a temporary disability. You can expect to receive monthly benefits for short-term disability for around three-six months. To receive short-term disability, you must prove that your addiction is disabling.

Long-Term Disability Insurance

Long-term disability insurance is roughly the same as short-term disability, but there are eligibility requirements. Long-term disability insurance allows you to receive benefits for two, five, or ten years. In some cases, benefits can be given until you reach retirement or until the end of your life.

Unlike short-term disability insurance where you must be unable to work your job, for long-term disability insurance, you must be unable to work any job. There are specific conditions that you must meet to qualify for long-term disability insurance, so check with your insurance provider to better understand them. Most conditions accepted under long-term will be chronic or lifelong conditions, conditions that require intensive treatments, or paralyzing illnesses. 

Long-term disability is sometimes used in conjunction with short-term disability. After the maximum number of months has been reached for short-term disability, long-term disability insurance will kick in if you are still unable to return to work. From there, benefits will be accessible to you until you are medically cleared to return to work or have used up all the policy's allowances. 

Will Disability Cover Outpatient Rehab?

The short answer for whether or not disability will cover outpatient rehab is yes. For you to qualify for disability insurance to put toward outpatient care, you must provide full proof that your short-term disability is SUD and that it prevents you from being able to adequately do your job. This will need to be done with proper documentation from a licensed healthcare provider that shows a full medical diagnosis that meets the SUD criteria. It's also worth considering whether or not drug addiction is a pre-existing condition.

Illegal substance abuse such as marijuana can be harder to get covered. Short-term disability is more likely to cover addiction rehab when you have become addicted to prescription or legal drugs. There is a misconception that drug use is always through illegal substances, though you might be addicted to prescription pills, alcohol, or nicotine, all of which are legal substances.

Long-term disability insurance is more likely to cover the cost of addiction recovery when your addiction is to a medication prescribed by a doctor. However, not all short- or long-term disability insurance policies will cover addiction recovery. Review your insurance policy to see whether or not it will be covered.

If you or a loved one needs a safe and affordable outpatient treatment program, look no further. The Edge Treatment Center offers top-notch care. Specializing in long-term outpatient care for addiction and dual diagnosis, we’ll work with you to work drug and alcohol addiction treatment into your schedule.

Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need today. Take the first step toward your healing journey and contact us today.

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