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Paid Family Leave: California

Last Updated November 2022

Family caregivers who need time off work to care for seriously family members are eligible to take Paid Family Leave (PFL). In addition to Paid Family Leave, California caregivers at companies with 5 employees or more are eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected, leave.

Q. What is Paid Family Leave?
A. Paid Family Leave is unemployment compensation disability insurance paid to workers who suffer a wage loss when they take time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child. You are eligible if you have paid into State Disability Insurance (noted as “CASDI” on most paystubs) in the past 5 to 18 months.

Q. How much of my wage will I receive?
A: Employees currently receive 60% or 70% of their weekly wages up a maximum weekly benefit amount. The amount is determined by your weekly wage base period. View this chart to learn more about the base period and your estimated weekly benefit amount.

Starting in 2025, workers who make 70% or less of the state average weekly wage (for 2022, about $57,000/year), will receive 90% of their wages. Anyone who makes more, will receive 70% of their wages.

Q. How long may a person receive Paid Family Leave insurance benefits?
A. Workers can receive up to eight weeks of benefits that may be paid over a 12-month period. Leave can be taken intermittently on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis as needed.

Q. Who can I take Paid Family Leave for?
A. Paid Family Leave may be taken to care for a child, parent, parent-in law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner.

Q. What is the relationship of Paid Family Leave Insurance to State Disability Insurance?
A. Paid Family Leave Insurance is a component of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. The SDI benefit portion compensates workers who suffer a wage loss when they can’t work because of their own illness or injury. The Paid Family Leave benefit compensates workers who suffer a wage loss due to the need to provide care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.

Q. Are payroll deductions mandatory?
A. Yes, since January 1, 2004, California employers have been required deduct the Paid Family Leave contributions from the wages of employees who are covered by the SDI program.

Q. Who pays?
A. The Paid Family Leave insurance program is fully funded by employees’ contributions, similar to the SDI program. 

Q. How do I apply?
A. Visit the EDD (Employment Development Department) website at edd.ca.gov. You can apply for PFL by completing the Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) form online or by mail.

To apply online, you must first complete a one-time registration using Benefit Programs Online (BPO) to establish an online account. Visit the BPO login page and select Register to get started creating an account now. For more information, visit How to File a PFL Claim in SDI Online.

To call: https://edd.ca.gov/en/disability/paid_family_leave_pfl_automated_phone_information_system/

For Caregivers specifically:

  • Complete and sign Part A on page 1.
  • Have the care recipient complete Part C on page 3.
  • Have the care recipient’s physician/practitioner complete and sign Part D on page 4.
  • If the care recipient cannot complete and sign Part C on page 3 due to their disability, or if you are an authorized representative filing for benefits on behalf of an incapacitated or deceased claimant, call 1-877-238-4373 for instructions and required forms prior to submitting a claim. Parts A, C, and D are required to be considered a complete claim

PFL claims may be submitted no earlier than your first day out of work and no later than 41 days after you start your leave. If you submit your application late, you risk not being paid for part of your leave.

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