Paid Family Leave Claim Process

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The State Disability Insurance (SDI) program provides short-term Paid Family Leave (PFL) wage replacement benefits to eligible workers. You may be eligible if you need time off work for family leave.

1. Review Your Eligibility

You must be eligible to receive PFL benefits. Some requirements include:

  • Being unable to do your regular and customary work to provide care for a seriously ill family member, bond with a new child, or participate in a qualifying event because of an eligible family member’s military deployment to a foreign country.
  • Having lost wages due to the need for family leave.
  • Being employed or actively looking for work at the time your family leave begins.

For a complete list of eligibility requirements, visit Am I Eligible for Paid Family Leave Benefits?

You may also be interested in visiting:

San Francisco workers: Your employer may be required to provide supplemental compensation to you if you are receiving PFL benefits for bonding with a new child through birth, adoption, or foster care placement. For more information, review the Paid Parental Leave Ordinance.

2. File Your Claim

You have two options to file for PFL benefits. You can file your claim using SDI Online (recommended) or by submitting a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) by mail.

For full details on filing your claim, visit:

To order a paper DE 2501F, visit Online Forms and Publications.

Your Claim Start Date

The first day you are unable to work due to your family leave is the date your claim can begin.

You may not change the beginning date of your claim or adjust a base period after establishing a valid claim. If you have any questions about your claim start date, contact PFL at 1-877-238-4373 before filing your claim.

Submit your claim no earlier than the first day your family leave begins, but no later than 41 days after your family leave begins, or your claim is considered to be late and you may lose benefits.

Note: For military assist family leave, your claim can start on or after the date your military family member was notified of the covered active duty.

Mothers Transitioning from a Disability Insurance (DI) – Pregnancy-Related Claim to PFL

When you have recovered from delivering your baby and after your final DI payment is issued, the EDD will send you a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits – New Mother (DE 2501FP).

  • If you filed your DI pregnancy claim using SDI Online, a link to the DE 2501FP will be sent to your SDI Online inbox.
  • If you filed using a paper claim form, the DE 2501FP will be mailed to you in a separate envelope.

Complete all portions of the DE 2501FP and submit no later than 41 days from the date you wish to begin your bonding claim.

All Other New Parents

To file a PFL Bonding claim online, you must complete and submit sections one through five of the SDI Online application and upload the Proof of Relationship documentation. Review Step 3: Attach Additional Documents for more information.

To submit a DE 2501F bonding claim by mail, complete Part A – Statement of Claimant (page 1) and Part B – Bonding Certificate (page 3) and include the Proof of Relationship documents (review Step 3: Attach Additional Documents for accepted documents). Mail the completed, signed claim form and proof of relationship to the EDD in the envelope provided.

To file a PFL Care claim online, you must complete and submit sections one through five of the SDI Online application, then download and print the Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Care Benefits (DE 2501FC) from the link on your confirmation page.

The care recipient must complete and sign Part C – Statement of Care Recipient (page 1). The care recipient’s medical provider must complete and sign Part D – Physician/Practitioner’s Certificate (page 3), then upload Parts C and D. Review Step 3: Attach Additional Documents for more information.

Note: It may be necessary to send some documents by U.S. mail even if you select electronic communication.

To submit a DE 2501F care claim by mail, complete Part A – Statement of Claimant (page 1). Have the care recipient complete and sign Part C - Statement of Care Recipient (page 3). The care recipient’s medical provider must complete Part D - Physician/Practitioner’s Certification (page 4). Mail the completed, signed portions of the claim form to the EDD in the envelope provided.

To file a military assist claim online, you must complete and submit sections one through six of the SDI Online application and submit the supporting documentation. Review Step 3: Attach Additional Documents for more information.

To submit a DE 2501F military assist claim by mail, complete Part A - Statement of Claimant (page 1), Part E – Military Assist Certification (page 5), and Qualifying Event for Leave (page 6) – Documentation. Mail the completed, signed claim form and supporting documentation to the EDD in the envelope provided.

3. Attach Additional Documents

If you submitted your PFL Bonding or Care claim through SDI Online, you must submit additional documents to complete your claim. You can submit them electronically in SDI Online by scanning and uploading them to your claim or by mailing a paper document.

If your form is not properly completed or all the supporting documents are not received, the EDD will not process your claim until all the information is obtained.

New Mothers

If you are transitioning from a pregnancy-related disability claim, no additional documents are needed.

All Other New Parents

Mothers without a pregnancy-related disability claim, new fathers, and foster or adoptive parents must complete sections one through five of the SDI Online bonding application, and provide a Proof of Relationship document. Examples of this document include:

  • Child’s Birth Certificate
  • Child’s Hospital Birth Certificate
  • Declaration of Paternity (CS-909)
  • Foster Care Placement Record (SOC-815)
  • Official letter from the foster care agency
  • Adoptive Placement Agreement (AD-907)
  • Independent Adoption Placement Agreement (AD-924)
  • Other evidence of relationship

Once you complete sections one through five of your PFL Care application, you must also provide:

  • Part C - Statement of Care Recipient, signed by the care recipient or their authorized representative.
  • Part D - Physician/Practitioner’s Certification completed and signed by the care recipient’s physician/practitioner. The physician/practitioner may submit the certification using SDI Online (only if you filed online) or you can have them complete and sign the paper form. It is your responsibility to have the physician/practitioner complete and sign the form and submit it to the EDD.

On your confirmation screen you will find a link to a PDF copy of the Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Care Benefits (DE 2501FC) form. Print this PDF and have it filled out entirely and signed by all parties. You can also print the DE 2501FC from Paid Family Leave Forms and Publications.

Once you complete sections one through six of your PFL Military Assist online application, you must also provide:

Supporting military documentation, which may include:

  • Covered active duty orders.
  • Letter of impending call or order to covered duty.
  • Documentation of military leave signed by the approving authority for the military member's rest and recuperation.

Documentation for the qualifying event, which may include:

  • A copy of a meeting announcement for informational briefings sponsored by the military.
  • A copy of a bill for services for the handling of legal or financial affairs.
  • A letter with detailed information (reason for meeting, location, contact information) for the meeting with a third party.

To upload the additional documents to your claim, you must scan and save the documents as PDFs, JPGs, TIFs, or TIFFs to your computer. Then:

  1. Select New Claim from your SDI Online home page main menu.
  2. Select Submit Electronic Paid Family Leave Bonding Attachment, or or Submit Electronic Paid Family Leave Care Attachment, or Submit Paid Family Leave Military Assist Attachment.
  3. Select Browse and attach your documents.
  4. Select Submit to finalize the process.

If you choose to mail your attachments, use the address provided under Mail on your Confirmation Information screen.

4. The EDD Determines Eligibility

Once a properly completed claim application is received, the EDD usually determines eligibility within 14 days.

The EDD will send you the Notice of Computation (DE 429DF) to inform you of your potential weekly benefit amount based on the wages you earned in your base period. Receiving this notice does NOT confirm that you have been found eligible to receive PFL benefits.

If you are eligible for benefits, you will be sent an Electronic Benefit Payment Notification (DE 2500E).

You can choose how you receive your benefits when you file, either by debit card or by check.

Debit card: If you choose this option, all authorized benefit payments will be deposited to a debit card. For more information, visit Debit Card.

EDD checks by mail: If you choose this option, your benefit payments will be issued by EDD check. Allow 7 to 10 days for delivery of checks in the mail.

If you do not meet eligibility requirements, the EDD will send you a Notice of Paid Family Leave Determination (DE 2514) and an Appeal Form (DE 1000A). You have the right to appeal any decision by completing the DE 1000A electronically or by mail within 30 days of the issue date of the disqualification notice. For more information, visit Appeals.

5. Continue or Stop Your Benefits

Certify to Continue Your Benefits

If you reported intermittent leave or continued work on your claim form, the EDD will send you the Continued Claim Certification for Paid Family Leave Benefits (DE 2580GF) to certify to the days you have worked during your claim. If you do not return the DE 2580GF to the EDD, your benefits will stop.

Certify to Extend Your PFL Period

If you still have benefits available, A Notice of Final Payment (DE 2525XF) will be issued when your PFL claim indicates that you are now ready to return to work.

For PFL care claims, with your final payment, the EDD will send you a Paid Family Leave (PFL) Supplemental Claim Certification (DE 2525XFA) enclosed with the DE 2525XF. If you need to continue providing care for a family member select the box that applies to your claim on the PFL Claimant’s Certification section of the DE 2525XFA. You must have the care recipient’s physician/practitioner also complete the Physician/Practitioner's Supplementary Certificate section of the DE 2525XFA and return to the EDD.

For PFL bonding claims, if you wish to extend your bonding claim, complete and return the fillable Request to Re-establish a Bonding Claim for Paid Family Leave (DE 2504RE). You may also order another Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F). Another option is to extend your claim through a verbal certification by calling 1-877-238-4373 if you have not returned to work or had a break in certification from your current bonding period.

For PFL military assist claims, if you wish to extend your claim, you may order another DE 2501F. Complete the DE 2501F, with proof of the new event or the extension of the current event period, and return to the EDD.

To order forms, including the DE 2501F, visit Online Forms and Publications.

If you return to work before the physician/practitioner’s estimated date of recovery for the care recipient, or your reported return to work date on your bonding or military assist claim and you are on automatic payment, fill out the Notice of Change in Claimant Status on the Notice of Automatic Payment – PFL (DE 2587F) and return it to the EDD.

For more information on how to continue or stop your benefits, review Paid Family Leave — Stop or Continue Your Benefits.

Related PFL Claim Information