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What Is an Employee Assistance Program?

blond woman on couch learns what an employee assistance program is

What happens when something is happening in an employee’s personal life that is impacting work performance? If an employee is struggling with a personal issue like addiction, they may be encouraged to use an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Drug or alcohol misuse is not the only thing that EAPs cover, but they are often the most frequently utilized circumstances. If you or someone you care about is thinking about using an EAP, it can help to learn more about what they are and how they can cover an addiction treatment program.

What Do Employee Assistance Programs Cover?

In previous years, most EAPs dealt primarily with issues related to drug or alcohol misuse and addiction. However, today, EAPs can potentially deal with a wide range of situations. Some of these are:

  • Addiction treatment programs
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Legal issues
  • Financial problems
  • Traumatic events such as workplace accidents or violence

Employees can receive treatment, counseling, advice, and other services through an EAP. The programs are meant to help employees resolve difficulties in their personal lives so that their work performance can be its very best.

Is an Employee Assistance Program Part of My Insurance?

EAPs can sometimes be handled through an employee’s medical insurance, but it is also possible that the EAP might be administered by a third party that the company hires to manage the EAP. How the EAP is managed and who administers it can vary from company to company, so it is best to look up specific information about your individual workplace if you have further questions.

Who Can Utilize the Services of an Employee Assistance Program?

The employees of a company can certainly utilize services offered by an EAP. What many people might not realize, though, is that the children and spouses of employees can often utilize those services as well.

Can I Be Required to Use Employee Assistance Program Services by My Employer?

There is no specific law against an employer requiring an employee to use services of an EAP, but care must be taken to avoid violating the Americans With Disabilities Act, which is a federal law protecting citizens with disabilities from workplace-based discrimination.

How Much Do Services from an Employee Assistance Program Cost?

You may be pleased to learn that services from an EAP are nearly always free. An EAP is a benefit to employees provided by the company, but it also benefits the company to provide it since they want all their employees to be doing their best at work each day.

What Happens if I Retire or Get Laid Off While Using the Services of an EAP?

Answering this question requires mentioning two different federal laws: ERISA and COBRA. EAPs are covered under both of these policies. ERISA is a law that establishes standards for employee pension programs, and COBRA is a law that allows employees who have lost their jobs to opt to continue health coverage for a period of time. In both of these circumstances, you would still be able to access services from an EAP.

Serenity Grove Offers Addiction Treatment and Can Work With Employee Assistance Programs

At our treatment center in Athens, Georgia, we use a holistic, individualized approach to the treatment of addiction and mental health issues. Our staff of highly trained clinicians has the experience and understanding to guide clients on their path to recovery. We are committed to helping each client achieve their highest self and maintain a lasting recovery. If you or someone you care about has been struggling with addiction or mental health conditions, don’t wait. Reach out to us today at 844.904.3485 and let us tell you how we can help.