A FELTG customer shared the following hypothetical scenario: An adult child is involved in a car accident and during a lengthy recovery period may not be capable of performing one of the activities of daily living (ADLs), however the prognosis is that eventually they will regain all functionality.

FMLA eligibility only covers children under the age of 18 unless the child has a mental or physical disability defined as being incapable of self-care/cannot perform one of the ADLs.

Is the parent, who is the employee, eligible to take FMLA to care for the adult child in this situation?

And here is FELTG’s answer:

To be eligible, the son or daughter must be unable to perform three activities of daily living (see definition of son or daughter in 5 CFR 630.1202), not one.

The requirements are that:

  • Son or daughter over 18 must first have a disability to be covered.
  • Beyond that must be incapable of self-care because of the disability, which requires active assistance or supervision of the parent.

If there is a complete recovery, the parent may not have FMLA eligibility any longer. The adult son or daughter would have to continue to meet the definition of disabled in addition to the need for care for there to be continued coverage for the parent under FMLA.

If you’re looking for more information on FMLA, join FELTG Senior Instructor Barbara Haga for the 75-minute session Medical Certification Requirements for Sick Leave and FMLA, happening during Federal Workplace 2021: Accountability, Challenges and Trends, which takes place September 27 – October 1. Click here for more information about this exciting weeklong event. Or contact info@feltg.com to find out how to bring FMLA training (or any other Federal employment law training) to your agency – either onsite or virtually.

Do you have a Federal employment law-related question? Ask FELTG.

The information presented here is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Contacting FELTG in any way/format does not create the existence of an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

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