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Requirements for military caregivers to receive leave

If you qualify as a military caregiver to a covered service member, then you may have the ability to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to provide care to your loved one. In general, this means that the individual receiving care is your parent, spouse, child or that you are their legal next of kin.

Even if you meet the qualifications to serve as a caregiver, the individual receiving care must qualify as a covered service member. Covered service members must be:

  • Currently serving members of a branch of the Armed Forces
  • Currently receiving treatment or therapy or in recuperation or in outpatient treatment, or
  • Temporarily retired due to disability because of serious illness or injury

In order for an injury to qualify, it must

  • Occur in the line of duty, while on active duty
  • Cause the service member to be unfit to serve in his or her established office or rank
  • Either originate during active duty or become aggravated due to active duty

If you believe that your circumstances and the circumstances of the person you wish to qualify for military caregiver leave, you should fully explore the nuances of this complicated process.

It is always wise to gain a full understanding of the scope of such a complicated issue before committing to a large life change like taking many months of unpaid leave. An experienced attorney may offer guidance through this matter, helping you anticipate potential setbacks along the way and ensuring that you and your loved one remain protected through the strength of the law as you address the needs of a service member in need.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Fact Sheet #28M(a): Military Caregiver Leave for a Current Servicemember under the Family and Medical Leave Act," accessed March 30, 2018

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