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Family and Medical Leave Act Advisor

Serious Health Condition

For purposes of FMLA, "serious health condition" means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

  • Incapacity means the inability to work, attend school or perform other regular daily activities due to a serious health condition (or treatment for or recovery from a serious health condition).
  • Treatment includes (but is not limited to) examinations to determine if a serious health condition exists and evaluations of the condition. It does not include routine physical, eye or dental examinations.
  • Inpatient care means an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity or any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care.
  • Continuing treatment by a health care provider includes several distinct definitions and can include conditions with short-term, chronic, long-term or permanent periods of incapacity.

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For more information on this aspect of the FMLA, see the FMLA regulations: § 825.113, § 825.114, § 825.115