Medical Social Policy

Governmental laws have significant impact on the way we live by helping or hindering people in different ways.
This page is meant to highlight relevant laws, certain key effects they create, and suggest actions in light of the laws.
Here are some laws that may be helpful:


Policy Name: Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave (you cannot be fired or replaced) for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.
1) Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
a) a child’s birth;
b) care of newborn child within 1 year of birth;
c) adoption or foster care within one year of placement;
d) employee’s spouse/child/parent with serious health condition;
e) serious health condition hindering/disabling full performance of job functions;
f) qualifying exigency regarding employee’s spouse, son, daughter, parent covered military member on “covered active duty”.
2) Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period:
a) covered service member with serious injury/illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

What this means for you:

  • You’re eligible for FMLA if your employer is: government, public school,  or private business with over 50 employees AND you have worked 1250 hours for them in the last 12 months.
  • People don’t have to worry about losing their job while they tend to family/themselves.
  • Pregnant mothers cannot be fired for taking time off they need to deliver & recover.
  • You won’t be paid for your time off (unless you use vacation time); it just means you’ll still have a job when you’re ready to return to work.


  1. Get familiar with FMLA requirements using this government poster
  2. Check with your employer’s human resources policies or personnel to see if they have a specific form to fill out the claim FMLA. You can use this example form if they don’t have one.  
  3. Discuss your medical situation with doctor (some take care of FMLA application for you)
  4. Provide the required 30-days notice to your employer to prepare for taking time off.

    Policy Name: Texas Estates Code 1357. Alternatives to Guardianship: Supported Decision-Making Agreements.


    During the 84th Texas Legislative Session in 2015, legislators passed HB 39 and SB 1881, making the first state to have laws that recognize “supported decision-making agreements” as an informal alternative to guardianship. This allows individuals with intellectual and development disabilities to make their own decisions with the support and guidance they need from a trusted person. The Supported Decision-Making agreement is a form you’d fill out, which is included in Chapter 1357 of the Texas Estates Code.

    What this means for you:

    • Individuals with IDD (Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities) can choose people they trust to help them make decisions (e.g. employment, spending money)
    • This empowers individuals with IDD to still make decisions and manage their own affairs. Previously under full guardianship, and individual with IDD would lose many rights including the right to drive, choose where to live and work, vote, get married, consent to medical treatment, and more.
    • The individual or supporter can revoke this agreement at any time.

    How this works:

    1. Individuals with IDD can choose people they trust to help them make decisions (i.e. employment, spending money)
    2. Ask these people to be their supporters
    3. Think about the type of decisions they need help making
    4. Complete a written plan called a supported decision-making agreement; provide the agreement to people like doctors and service providers.


    1. Check out The Arc of Texas website, or give them a call at 1-800-252-9729 to learn more about their work and advocacy for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Texas.
      1. The Arc of Texas website:
      2. The Waco Arc:
      3. Supported Decision-Making Info Sheet:
    2. Get connected to the local Waco Arc chapter, located on: 4901 Lakewood Dr. Waco, Texas 76710.
    3. Think about individuals in your life whom you trust, and can help support and guide you with your decisions; think about filling out a Supported Decision-Making Agreement form.
    4. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a lawyer or the Arc of Texas.