Should I get married so that I can be granted FMLA?

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Should I get married so that I can be granted FMLA?

My partner and I have been a couple for 34 years. He is 73 and I am 62. He is disabled,retired on disability and suffers from COPD which is getting worse. I want to ask my employer for FMLA so that I can assist more with his care. We were advised a few years ago not to get married because he

would have to be on my health insurance thru my employer. He curerently is on Medicare and AARP part B. Since I work for an employer that has more than 100% employees, HR tells me that we have to be married under current law. I don’t want to have interferance with his medicare coverage and jeopardize his current plan. I make almost $70,000 per year, as well and plan on retiring in 2 1/2 years.

Asked on April 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if you are married, then you could use FMLA leave for his medical care. But it's not all clear that you should do this. As you note, you could affect his current medical coverage, which can be tremendously expensive; there are also tax consequences to marrying--is that worth being able to take up two 12 weeks off, unpaid, to help care for him? Or would it be better to hire a live-on aide to help? Even if you spent up to 12 weeks of your salary on an aide, you'd economically come out to the same place as if you had taken 12 unpaid weeks of FMLA leave, and without the other complications.


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