Paid Family Leave Claim Process

Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides short-term wage replacement benefits to eligible California workers who need time off work for family leave.

Follow These Steps

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

  • You aren't able to do your regular work because you need 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.
  • You've lost wages due to the need for family leave.
  • You're employed or actively looking for work at the time your family leave begins.

View the complete list of eligibility requirements.

Note: Citizenship and immigration status do not affect eligibility.

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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.

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 more information, review:

Your Claim Start Date

To be eligible for benefits, you must be losing wages because your family leave is preventing you from doing your regular work. This means you’re not working or you’re working reduced hours due to your family leave.

The first day you can't work because of 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. A valid claim means there are wages available in your base period.

Important: The base claim period for a pregnancy disability claim and the resulting weekly benefit amount is the same one that will be used for the following Paid family Leave bonding claim for new mothers.

If you have any questions about your claim start date, contact PFL at 1-877-238-4373 before filing your claim.

When to File Your Claim

Submit your claim following these requirements:

  • File no earlier than the first day your family leave begins.
  • File no later than 41 days after your family leave begins to avoid losing benefits.
  • Bonding claim benefits must be used in the 12 months after the child's birth or date they entered the family.

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.

File a Bonding Claim

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, we 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.

File a Care Claim

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 licensed health professional 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 licensed health professional 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.

File a Military Assist Claim

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.

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 you filed your claim by mailing a paper form, you will send your supporting documentation with your claim form in the envelope provided.

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

Documents for Bonding Claims

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

Documents for Care Claims

Once you complete sections one through five of your PFL Care online 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 licensed health professional. They 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 licensed health professional 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.

Documents for Military Assist Claims

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 active 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, 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 instead of uploading them, use the address provided under Mail on your Confirmation Information screen.

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.

Eligible for Benefits

If you are eligible for benefits, we will send you an Electronic Benefit Payment Notification (DE 2500E) with information about your first benefit payment.

You can choose your payment option when you file your claim.

If We Can't Determine Your Eligibility

We'll contact you by phone or mail for more information. We may also need to contact your employer or your care recipient's licensed health professional.

Not Eligible for Benefits

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.

Continue Your Benefits

Certify to Continue Your Benefits

If you reported intermittent leave or continued work on your claim form, we 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 us, 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 sent to you when your PFL claim indicates that you are now ready to return to work.

On PFL care claims, with your final payment, we 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 also have the care recipient’s licensed health professional complete the Physician/Practitioner's Supplementary Certificate section of the DE 2525XFA and return it to us.

On PFL bonding claims, if you have not used all eight weeks of benefits consecutively, or are taking your bonding benefits on an intermittent basis, still have benefits available and wish to extend your bonding claim, complete and return the fillable Request to Re-establish a Bonding Claim for Paid Family Leave (DE 2504RE) or order and submit a new 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 and submit a new DE 2501F with proof of the new event or the extension of the current event period, and return it to us.

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

Stop Your Benefits

If you return to work before the licensed health professional’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 us.

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

Related PFL Claim Information

Register for myEDD

Creating an account is an important step in this process. With myEDD, you can apply for Disability Insurance and manage your claim in SDI Online.

Find DI and PFL Information for You

Additional Resources

Can’t find what you are looking for? View these DI and PFL resources for more information.