Am I Eligible for Paid Family Leave Benefits?

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Workers who have a loss of wages when they need to take time off work to care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new child entering the family through birth, adoption, or foster care placement, may be eligible for Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits.

Note: Beginning January 1, 2018, Assembly Bill 908 (Chapter 5, Statutes of 2016) increases the Disability Insurance and PFL wage replacement rate to approximately 60 to 70 percent (depending on income) and removes the 7-day waiting period for PFL. This applies to claims with a start date of January 1, 2018 or after.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for PFL benefits, you must:

  • Be unable to do your regular or customary work due to the need to provide care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.
  • Be employed or actively looking for work at the time your family leave begins.
  • Have lost wages because you were caring for a seriously ill family member or bonding with a new child.
  • Have earned at least $300 from which State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions were withheld during your base period. For additional information, visit Calculating Paid Family Leave Benefit Payment Amounts.
  • Complete and submit your claim form no earlier than the first day your family leave begins, but no later than 41 days after your family leave begins or you may lose benefits.
  • Provide a medical certificate on your care claim for the seriously ill family member. The certificate must be completed by the care recipient’s physician/practitioner.
    • A nurse practitioner or physician assistant may certify to the need for care within their scope of practice; however, they must perform a physical examination and collaborate with a physician or surgeon.
    • If the care recipient is under the care of a religious practitioner, request a Practitioner’s Certification for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2502F), from an SDI office. Certification by a religious practitioner is acceptable only if the practitioner has been accredited by the Employment Development Department.

Your employer will be notified that you have submitted a PFL claim. However, the care recipient’s medical information is confidential and will not be shared with your employer.

A serious health condition means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition of a patient that involves any period of incapacity (e.g., inability to work or perform other regular daily activities) or inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility and any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care; or continuing treatment by a physician/practitioner. Unless complications arise, cosmetic treatments, the common cold, influenza, earaches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, and headaches other than migraines, are examples of conditions that do not meet the definition of a serious health condition for purposes of PFL. For more information, see frequently asked questions.

An independent medical examination of the care recipient may be required to determine your initial or continuing eligibility.

To file a claim, visit Benefit Programs Online, SDI Online, or Options to File for PFL Benefits.