Paid Family Leave (PFL) Claim Process

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The California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program provides Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits to eligible workers who need time off work to care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new child entering the family by birth, adoption, or foster care placement.

1. Review Eligibility Information for PFL.

You must be eligible in order to receive PFL benefits. Some requirements include being unable to do your regular and customary work due to the need to provide care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child and being either employed or actively looking for work at the time your family leave begins.

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

If your employer has its own voluntary plan, visit Voluntary Plan. If you are self-employed or an independent contractor and pay into Disability Insurance Elective Coverage (DIEC), visit DIEC.

You may also be interested in Calculating PFL Benefit Amounts.

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, visit the City and County of San Francisco, Office of Labor Standards Enforcement Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO).

2. File a Claim for PFL.

Bonding - New Mothers: For new mothers transitioning from a Disability Insurance (DI)-related pregnancy claim to PFL bonding. When you have recovered from delivering your baby and after your final DI payment is issued, a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits – New Mother, DE 2501FP, will be automatically mailed to you in a separate envelope or you may submit it using SDI Online. Complete all portions of the DE 2501FP and submit no later than 41 days from the date you wish to begin your bonding claim.

Bonding - Other: For all other new parents, to submit a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) using SDI Online you must first complete a one-time registration in Benefit Programs Online (BPO) to establish an online account. Visit the BPO login page and select Register to get started creating an account now.

BPO registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

After you have registered in BPO, select SDI Online which will direct you to the SDI Online Registration Options. Once your registration is complete, log in to BPO and select SDI Online to be directed to your Home page to file your claim.

Note: It may be necessary to send some documents via U.S. mail.

You may also submit a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) by mail.

Care Claims: For care claims using SDI 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.

BPO registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

After you have registered in BPO, select SDI Online which will direct you to the SDI Online Registration Options. Once your registration is complete, log in to BPO and select SDI Online to be directed to your Home page to file your claim.

Complete and submit Sections 1 – 5 of the online application (Part A of the paper DE 2501F), then print, a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501FC) from the link on your Confirmation page. Complete and have the pages signed, then submit the required documents by uploading them to your SDI Online claim or mailing them to the address provided.

Note: It may be necessary to send some documents via U.S. mail.

You may also submit a paper Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) by mail.

For more information, visit How to File a PFL Claim in SDI Online. To order a paper version of the Claim for Paid Family Leave Benefits (DE 2501F), visit Online Forms and Publications.

Important Information About the Start of Your Claim
The first day you are unable to work due to your family leave is the day or date your claim can begin. You will need to include that date when you submit 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 the claim is considered to be late and you may lose benefits.

If this is a PFL care claim, your claim is not complete until the care recipient’s physician/practitioner completes a medical certification, and you have the care recipient or their authorized representative sign the form.

Visit Options to File for Paid Family Leave for more information.

3. Attach Additional Documents.

Bonding – New Mothers: If you are transitioning from a pregnancy-related disability claim, no additional documents are needed.

Bonding – Other: For mothers without a pregnancy-related disability claim, new fathers, and foster or adoptive parents, you will need to provide a Proof of Relationship document with your claim. You may send a paper document or scan and upload it to submit with your claim using SDI Online.

Care Claims: Along with your Part A - Statement of Claimant, you must also provide the Care Recipient’s Authorization for Disclosure of Personal Health Information and Part C - Statement of Care Recipient, signed by the care recipient or their authorized representative. These additional forms may be downloaded from the confirmation page when Part A was submitted using SDI Online. You may scan and upload it to your computer to submit with your claim using SDI Online. If using the paper claim form, mail to the Employment Development Department (EDD) in the envelope provided.

You also need 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 within 41 days from the date your family leave begins or you may lose benefits.

4. The EDD Reviews Your Claim.

A. Once a properly completed claim form (as explained in previous steps) is received, the EDD usually determines whether or not you are eligible to receive PFL benefits within 14 days.

B. The EDD will send you the Notice of Computation (DE 429D) to inform you of your potential weekly benefit amount. Receiving this notice does NOT confirm that you have been found eligible to receive PFL benefits.

5. If You are Found Eligible or Not Eligible for Benefits.

If You are Found Eligible for Benefits

Benefit payments are normally issued within two weeks of the EDD receiving a properly completed claim; however, if we need additional information, more time may be needed to process your claim.

Benefit Payments and the EDD Debit CardSM

For claims beginning on or after January 1, 2018, weekly benefits range from $50 to a maximum of $1,216. To qualify for the maximum weekly benefit amount ($1,216), you must earn at least $26,325.01 in a calendar quarter during the base period. For more information, review Calculating Benefit Amounts.

Note: Beginning January 1, 2018, Assembly Bill 908 (Chapter 5, Statutes of 2016) increases the DI and PFL wage replacement rate to approximately 60 to 70 percent (depending on income) and removes the 7-day waiting period for PFL. This applies to claims with a start date of January 1, 2018 or after.

You will receive benefit payments on an EDD Debit Card issued by Bank of America. Once you receive your debit card, all authorized benefit payments are deposited to your EDD Debit Card account. The same EDD Debit Card is used to issue DI, PFL, and Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments and is valid for three years.

If you have received benefits in the last three years from any one of the EDD programs (UI, DI, or PFL), your benefits will be deposited on the previously issued card. For more information, visit The EDD Debit Card page.

If You are Not Eligible for Benefits

If you are not eligible for benefits, a Notice of Paid Family Leave Determination (DE 2514) will be mailed to you. An Appeal Form (DE 1000A) will also be mailed with your disqualification notice. You have the right to appeal any decision in writing within 30 days of the mailing date of the disqualification notice. For more information, visit Appeals.

6. You May Need to Certify for Continued Benefits.

Continue Benefits: If you reported intermittent leave or continued work on your claim form, you will receive 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.

Request to Extend Benefits: A Notice of Final Payment (DE 2525XF) will be issued when your PFL claim indicates that you are now ready to return to work. With your final payment, you will receive 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’s Supplementary Certificate section of the DE 2525XFA and return to the EDD.

If you wish to continue bonding with a child, select the box that applies to your claim on the PFL Claimant’s Certification section of the DE 2525XFA and return it to the EDD. The “Physician’s Supplementary Certificate” is not required for bonding claims.

For more information on how to continue or request to extend your benefits, review Discontinue, Continue, or Extend Your PFL Benefits.

7. Need to Discontinue Your Benefits?

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 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.

Related PFL Claim Information