As I talk to people about their finances, I find that many need guidance for the everyday issues like daycare, eldercare, and legal or financial issues to get them on the right track. My guidance is always to research your company benefits to take full advantage of everything your company has to offer to help you financially. I find that one of the most underutilized benefits is the employee assistance program.
Do not assume that these benefits are strictly for someone going through a rough time and in need of a mental counselor. There may be a wealth of benefits hidden in your company’s EAP program. Each EAP program is different so check with your employer but below are some of the benefits you may find in your EAP program:
Daycare referral services. EAP programs may offer daycare referral assistance. I used them when I was searching for daycare for my daughter. I filled out a questionnaire, they did the research, gave me a list of daycare centers that met my criteria and even called to check on my progress or answer the many questions I had. They helped me find affordable but quality care, which made going back to work so much easier.
Eldercare services. Some EAP programs can offer guidance on different eldercare services and can help you find the best one for your needs, whether it is adult daycare or in-home care. Other EAP services may offer guidance on understanding Medicare and Medicaid.
Legal referrals. Consider contacting your EAP program for legal assistance. The services can range from a lawyer referral to a 30-minute free legal consultation. Other EAP programs offer free legal documents and resources to create a will.
Counseling. If you are struggling through a loss, a marriage, balancing your job with family, or stress, you do not have to go at it alone. Reach out to your EAP program that may offer free counseling for a limited period of time.
EAP programs offer a breath of services to help you manage many areas of your life. Check into your company’s EAP program and take full advantage of their benefits. Remember, it’s part of your compensation!