FAQs – Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits
- How do I apply for PFL?
- What is a properly completed claim?
- Is there a waiting period for PFL benefits?
- Do I need to take all of my PFL benefits at one time?
- If I receive six weeks of PFL benefits to bond with my newborn and then one of my parents becomes seriously ill later in the year, will I be able to receive PFL benefits again since it is for a different reason?
- How will you determine the weekly benefit amount for PFL?
- How soon will I receive my first benefit payment from PFL after mailing in my claim form?
- May I receive other benefits while also receiving PFL?
- Can PFL benefits be integrated with unused sick leave?
- How are PFL benefits affected when I receive sick leave and PFL at the same time?
- Am I required by law to use my vacation leave when collecting PFL benefits?
- If I have not accumulated two weeks of vacation leave does he or she have to use his or her earned but unused sick leave instead?
- How are PFL benefit payments treated for tax purposes?
- Can you opt out of the PFL?
- Can I use PFL back-to-back with my Disability Insurance (DI) claim for pregnancy? Will there be an additional seven-day waiting period for PFL?
- What changes must I report to the PFL office when I am receiving benefits?
- What type of wages should I report that I am receiving?
- What will happen if I fail to notify the Employment Development Department (EDD) of changes such as returning to work?
- How do I report a return to work date using Ask EDD?
- How do I prevent a PFL Overpayment?
- How do I pay an Overpayment?
How do I apply for PFL?
To apply for PFL, you may submit a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) form online through SDI Online, or you may request a hard copy of the DE 2501F and mail it to the Employment Development Department. View a sample of completed claim form, With your claim form, you will need to submit a medical certification from your family memberís physician/practitioner or documentation showing the relationship between you and your new child.
What is a properly completed claim?
For Bonding Claims: A properly completed claim includes both Part A – Statement of Claimant and Part B – Bonding Certification. Be sure to submit a copy of your Proof of Relationship document with your claim form. A PFL bonding claim must be submitted within that first 12-month period the child is in the family. When SDI receives a properly completed application, Parts A and B of your Claim for Paid Family Leave Benefits (DE 2501F), your claim is generally processed within 14 days.
For Care Claims: A properly completed claim includes Part A – Statement of Claimant, Part C – Statement of Care Recipient, and Part D – Doctor’s Certification. You must complete and mail a claim form within 49 days of the first day of your family leave or you may lose benefits. When SDI receives a properly completed application, Parts A, C and D of your Claim for Paid Family Leave Benefits (DE 2501F), your claim is generally processed within 14 days.
Is there a waiting period for PFL benefits?
Yes, PFL requires a seven (7) calendar day non-payable waiting period before you can start receiving benefits (except for new mothers transitioning from Disability Insurance (DI) benefits to PFL benefits). The required seven-day waiting period does not need to be taken seven days in a row. For example, if care were provided one day per week, the seven-day waiting period would be served over a seven-week period. Benefits are payable once the seven days have been served and all other eligibility criteria are met. You must be off work at least eight (8) days to receive benefits. After the waiting period has been served, you are eligible for six (6) payable weeks of benefits, if otherwise eligible.
Do I need to take all of my PFL benefits at one time?
No, the law does not establish a minimum number of hours or days or weeks that you must take PFL. It only establishes the maximum leave time of six (6) paid weeks within a 12-month period.
If I receive six weeks of PFL benefits to bond with my newborn and then one of my parents becomes seriously ill later in the year, will I be able to receive PFL benefits again since it is for a different reason?
You are limited to six (6) paid weeks of benefits within a 12-month period regardless of the reason for the leave.
How will you determine the weekly benefit amount for PFL?
The weekly benefit amount is calculated based on the calendar quarter with the highest earnings in the claimant’s base period. The base period covers 12 months and is divided into four consecutive quarters of three months each. The wages the claimant was paid approximately 5 to 18 months before the claim begins are included in the base period (they must be subject to the State Disability Insurance (SDI) tax). The base period does not include wages paid at the time the claim begins.
The weekly benefit amount for PFL is approximately 55 percent of your earnings up to the maximum weekly benefit amount. For more information, visit PFL Benefit Amounts.
NOTE: If the claimant received DI pregnancy-related benefits and then filed a PFL claim to bond with a new child, the weekly benefit amount is the same as the DI weekly benefit amount. There is no new calculation of the weekly benefit amount when the bonding claim follows the DI pregnancy claim. This is true even if the bonding claim does not immediately follow the DI pregnancy claim.
How soon will I receive my first benefit payment from PFL after mailing in my claim form?
Most PFL benefits are issued within two weeks after a properly completed claim is received.
May I receive other benefits while also receiving PFL?
You may not receive PFL benefits if you are receiving or will receive DI, Unemployment Insurance, or Workers’ Compensation benefits for the same period. Other benefits, such as employer paid benefits for baby bonding, may also affect payment of PFL benefits.
Can PFL benefits be integrated with unused sick leave?
Yes. However, you cannot receive benefits (both PFL and Sick Leave combined) that exceed 100 percent of your regular wages earned. For more information, visit Integration of SDI benefits.
How are PFL benefits affected when I receive sick leave and PFL at the same time?
Consistent with SDI, sick leave wages are treated as wages. PFL benefits will be reduced by the amount of sick leave wages received, and may render you ineligible for benefits depending on the amount of sick leave wages received and your weekly benefit amount.
If integrating (coordinating) the sick leave (paying your sick leave wages in an amount which is the difference between the PFL benefit and your full wage), your sick leave benefits will not affect the PFL benefit.
Am I required by law to use my vacation leave when collecting PFL benefits?
The law gives an employer the discretion (option) to require you to take up to two weeks of earned but unused vacation leave before receiving PFL benefits. Vacation leave may include paid time off. This option does not relieve employers of any collective bargaining duties they may have with respect to vacation leave.
If I have not accumulated two weeks of vacation leave do I have to use my earned but unused sick leave instead?
No, the PFL law does not authorize employers to require the use of sick leave in lieu of vacation.
How are PFL benefit payments treated for tax purposes?
You should contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a tax advisor to obtain additional information.
For state tax purposes, PFL benefit payments are not taxable by California pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code section 17083.
Can you opt out of PFL benefits?
PFL is a component of State DI and contributions are mandatory under the California Unemployment Insurance Code.
Can I use PFL back-to-back with my DI claim for pregnancy? Will there be an additional seven-day waiting period for PFL?
You may receive PFL benefits to bond with your new child as soon as you have recovered from a pregnancy-related disability and are no longer receiving DI benefits. There is no additional seven-day waiting period for a PFL claim to bond with a newborn when the PFL claim follows the DI pregnancy-related claim. You will automatically be sent a Claim for PFL (PFL) Benefits – New Mother, DE 2501FP, when a pregnancy-related disability claim ends.
What must I report to the PFL office when I am receiving benefits?
You must report in writing or contact the PFL office immediately:
- If you have returned to part-time, intermittent, or full-time work.
- If you have stopped providing care or bonding.
- To report the care recipient’s date of death.
To advise the EDD in writing of your return to work, return the Notice of Automatic Payment (PFL) (DE 2587F) form, or contact PFL at 1-877-238-4373 or online Ask EDD.
What type of wages should I report that I am receiving?
You must report the following wages to the EDD: Adoption Pay, Back Pay, Bereavement Pay, Bonus Pay, Commissions, DI benefits, Donated Sick Leave Credits, Earnings from Partial Return to Work, Employer-Required Vacation pay, Holiday Pay, In Home Support Services wages, In Lieu of Notice Pay, Kin Care, Military Pay, Paid Time Off, Plant Shut Down Pay, Residuals, Rerun Fees, Reuse Fees, Sick Leave Pay, Unemployment Insurance benefits, or Workers’ Compensation benefits. Reporting these wages ensure you receive the correct benefit amount and prevents an overpayment.
What will happen if I fail to notify the EDD of changes such as returning to work?
If you fail to notify the Department of these changes, you may incur an overpayment. An overpayment occurs when you receive PFL benefits you were not entitled to receive. If you deliberately report incorrect information or if you willfully omit or withhold information, then a false statement disqualification of up to 92 days will be assessed. In addition, any resulting overpayment will be increased by a 30 percent penalty assessment.
How do I report a return to work date using Ask EDD?
To report your return to work date using Ask EDD, follow the steps below:
- Go to the EDD Home page.
- Select Contact EDD, located in the upper right corner.
- On the Contact EDD page, select Ask EDD.
- On the Ask EDD page, select the Disability Insurance Benefits category from the drop-down menu.
- Select the Miscellaneous sub-category from the drop-down menu.
- Select the How do I report a return to work date? topic from the drop-down menu.
- Enter your contact information and select Continue.
- Enter your return to work date and indicate either full-time or part-time.
- Enter the date of recovery and your return to work date.NOTE: If you are reporting that the claimant has passed away, please enter the date of death. Benefits are payable through the date of death.
- Select submit and you will receive a seven-digit reference number. Please allow 24-48 hours processing time.
How do I prevent a PFL Overpayment?
To prevent an Overpayment you must report in writing or contact the PFL Office immediately:
- If you have returned to part-time, intermittent, or full-time work.
- If you have stopped bonding with a new child or providing care to a seriously ill family member.
- To report the care recipient’s date of death.
Please ensure your employer promptly returns the Notice of Paid Family Leave (PFL) Claim Filed (DE 2503F) form.
If you recover or return back to work, you need to return the Notice of Automatic Payment (PFL) (DE 2587F) form, or contact PFL at 1-877-238-4373 or online Ask EDD.
How do I pay for an Overpayment?
In order for the EDD to provide assistance, you must have received your first billing notice. The Benefit Overpayment Statement of Amount Due (DE 8301R) form is a billing notice that is automatically generated and mailed to you each month. If you have not yet received this notice, please contact the PFL office at 1-877-238-4373.
Customers have the flexibility to make payments by credit card; however, a convenience fee is charged if you elect to use this option. Note: This process will take 3-5 business days to post to your account. To make a payment online, visit www.officialpayments.com. The following credit cards are accepted: MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. All credit card payments will be assessed a convenience fee of 2.35% of the payment amount each time you use this service. For additional information regarding credit card payments, contact Official Payments at 1-800-272-9829. Contact the Benefit Overpayment Collections Section at 1-800-676-5737 to inquire about payment arrangements or to establish a payment schedule.
If you have lost your billing notice, please mail your personal check, money order, or cashier’s check to the address listed below. Please write your Social Security number on all remittances.
Make remittance payable to: EDD.
Employment Development Department
P.O. Box 826806
Sacramento, CA 94206-0001
Phone number: 1-800-676-5737
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