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How Do I Pay My Bills While in Rehab?

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

Medically reviewed by

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

January 23, 2019

If someone is considering an inpatient drug rehab, it is critical to create a solid plan to balance finances both before and during treatment. Fortunately, there are several methods to help individuals keep their finances stable during treatment.

Stress is one of the biggest triggers of drug use and relapse. One of the most common and burdensome forms of stress we face within our lives is that which regards finances. After you leave treatment, you don’t want to come home to a pile of overdue bill notices. Taking the time to create a bill payment plan before you enter treatment helps to avoid this. It also gives you peace of mind that allows you to focus on your recovery, both during and after treatment.

How Do I Make Sure The Bills Are Paid While In Treatment?

First, you need to make a list of all your monthly expenses and create a budget. It can be helpful to write everything down, as it can be easy to overlook something. Now, consider how you’re actually going to make the payment.

Some companies will allow you to prepay your bill ahead of time (prepayment). Many companies will also let you set up automatic bill payment. Even with these options, it’s still a good idea to consider enlisting the aid of someone who can manage your finances and certain accounts while you’re gone.

A financial guardian could be a close friend or family member whom you trust. You could choose (or even be required) to have legal documentation drawn up to protect your interests and to ensure them proper access to your accounts. You should also make arrangements at your bank and with whomever you will owe payments to.

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Where To Get Money To Pay Bills While In Rehab

Taking the right steps to create a solid financial plan before, during, and after rehab, can help you to build a more solid recovery. Treatment is an investment in your health and future, but it can become expensive. Fortunately, there are a lot of options you can draw from that may give you greater financial flexibility and stability, such as:

Loved Ones

Consider asking supportive friends and family members for help or a loan. These individuals may offer their assistance while you’re in rehab to help ensure that you stay enrolled and committed to the program. If they’re worried you might spend the money on the substance, they could pay the bill(s) themselves.


Your health insurance may pay for a portion of your treatment. Any money that you can save this way can be put towards other expenses and bills. Medicare or Medicaid may also help you to pay for rehab.

Work Benefits

Do you have any accrued paid time off? You may be able to use vacation or sick days to cover a portion of your time away during rehab. This way you’ll still have wages during this time. Also, if your job offers any short- or long-term disability coverage, you may be able to use these benefits to help you during this time.


A variety of scholarships exist to help people from all walks of life to fund treatment. These scholarships may pay only for treatment, while others may also help you to pay for your bills.

Personal Loans

Banks or credit unions offer loans which you could use to pay your bills. Make sure you factor the loan payment into your short- and long-term financial plan to ensure you can accommodate the additional financial commitment (and interest).


While it may be hard to consider liquidating a portion of your savings or retirement (401(k) or IRA), doing so could allow you to get life-saving drug treatment. After all, if your life is devastated by an untreated addiction down the road, you won’t be able to enjoy your retirement much anyways.

Credit Cards

While using a card could help you to pay off bills, in the long run it could become one more debt you’ll have to pay. If you know that you’ll be able to pay off the balance within a reasonable time after you leave rehab, this may be a viable option for you.

Medical credit cards also exist. While you can’t use these cards to pay a utility bill, you could potentially use them to pay for expenses connected to rehab. This might free up extra money you could then use on other bills.


Crowdfunding has become a platform for a great many people to receive financial help. Sites like GoFundMe make it fairly easy for you or a loved one to create a venue by which you can raise money.

Selling Your Stuff

Are there certain items you have which aren’t essential to your day-to-day life? Examples could include jewelry, designer handbags or shoes, electronics, or recreational items like a camper. These things aren’t worth much to your well-being if you can’t go to rehab and instead remain within a destructive, addicted life. Selling these, or other items, could provide you with extra cash.

Payment Arrangements

The lender or company you owe money to may be willing to work with you to create payment arrangements. For instance, a hospital or doctor’s office may allow you to reduce your monthly payment on medical bills. Some companies may allow you to skip one payment without penalty or late fees if you communicate your needs to them.

What If I’m Already Behind In My Bills?

Commonly, an addicted individual may use money for bills to pay for their drug or alcohol habit. As they descend deeper into addiction, they may also forget to pay their bills or begin to stop caring. Cumulatively, any of these factors can lead a person to fall greatly behind on their bills.

The extent of this can vary. Maybe you’re only a few weeks or a month behind. Or perhaps it’s a matter of months and certain bills have already been turned over for collections. Regardless of the amount of time lapsed since you’ve last made a payment, one thing is certain: ignoring them won’t make them go away. In these instances, some of the above suggestions may still be options, either alone or together.

If this is the case, you’re faced with two things: trying to bring your account current and continuing to pay future bills. Some companies may allow you to enter into a payment agreement on your outstanding balance. For instance, certain utility companies may work with you and divide the overdue amount up over a period of a few months, or even six months. Now, instead of paying only your regular bill, you’ll be paying both amounts together each month.

Invest In Your Future

If you’re ready to make the life-changing decision to get help, it’s crucial that you do everything you can to make sure you’re prepared for treatment. If this all seems overwhelming, we can help. Contact us today. can help you find a rehab that will fit your budget.

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