Am I Eligible for Paid Family Leave Benefits?

California workers may be eligible for Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits if they lose wages when they need to take time off work for family leave.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for PFL benefits, you must:

  • Be unable to do your regular or customary work.
  • Have lost wages due to the need to provide care for a seriously ill family member, bond with a new child, or participate in a qualifying event resulting from a family member's military deployment to a foreign country.
  • Be employed or actively looking for work at the time your family leave begins.
  • 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.

Citizenship and immigration status do not affect eligibility.

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.

School employees are not eligible for PFL benefits when receiving full wages or for school break periods unless they normally work another job during the school break for extra income. Visit Paid Family Leave – Eligibility FAQs or Contact DI for more information.

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

Last Revised: 01/28/2022