Paid Family Leave Claim Process
The California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program provides short term Paid Family Leave (PFL) wage replacement benefits to eligible workers. You may be eligible for PFL benefits if you 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 Your Eligibility
You must be eligible to receive PFL benefits. Some requirements include:
- Being unable to do your regular and customary work to provide care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.
- Having lost wages due to the need for family leave.
- Being employed or actively looking for work at the time your family leave begins.
For a complete list of eligibility requirements, visit Am I Eligible for Paid Family Leave Benefits?
You may also be interested in visiting Calculating PFL Benefit Amounts.
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 Eligibility for DIEC.
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 Your Claim
You may submit a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) using SDI Online or by mailing a paper application. Claims filed through SDI Online take less time to process. To submit the DE 2501F using SDI Online, you must first complete a one-time registration in Benefit Programs Online (BPO). Visit the BPO login page and select Register to get started.
After you register in BPO, you will also register in SDI Online. Once both registrations are complete, you can log in to BPO and select SDI Online to file your claim.
Mothers Transitioning from Disability Insurance to PFL
When you have recovered from delivering your baby and after your final Disability Insurance (DI) payment is issued, the EDD will send a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits – New Mother (DE 2501FP) to you. If you filed your DI pregnancy claim using SDI Online, a link to the DE 2501FP will be sent to your 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.
Bonding for 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 submit the supporting documentation (step 3).
To file a PFL Care claim online you must complete and submit sections one through five of the SDI Online application, then print a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501FC) from the link on your confirmation page.
The care recipient must complete and sign the Care Recipient’s Authorization for Disclosure of Personal Health Information (page 2) and Part C – Statement of Care Recipient (page 3). The care recipient’s medical provider must complete and sign Part D – Physician/Practitioner’s Certificate (page 4). Then submit the supporting documentation (step 3).
Note: It may be necessary to send some documents via U.S. mail even if you select electronic communication.
To submit a paper DE 2501F bonding claim by mail, mothers without a DI-related pregnancy claim, new fathers, and foster or adoptive parents should complete Part A – Statement of Claimant (page 1) and Part B – Bonding Certificate (page 3) of the DE 2501F paper claim form and include the proof of relationship documents (review step 3 for accepted documents). Mail the completed, signed claim form and proof of relationship to the EDD in the envelope provided.
To submit a paper DE 2501F care claim by mail, complete Part A – Statement of Claimant (page 1.) Have the care recipient complete the Care Recipient’s Authorization for Disclosure of Personal Health Information (page 2) and Part C - Statement of Care Recipient (page 3). The care recipient’s medical provider must complete Part D - Physician/Practitioner’s Certification (page 4). Mail all completed, signed portions of the claim form to the EDD in the envelope provided.
For more information about filing your claim, visit:
- Options to File for Paid Family Leave
- How to File a PFL Claim in SDI Online
- How to file a PFL Claim by Mail
To order a paper 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.
You may not change the beginning date of your claim or adjust a base period after establishing a valid claim. If you have any questions about your claim start date, contact PFL at 1-877-238-4373 before filing 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 your claim is considered to be a late claim and you may lose benefits.
3. Attach Additional Documents
If you submitted your PFL Bonding or Care application through SDI Online, you will need to submit additional documents to complete your claim. You may submit the additional documents electronically by scanning and uploading it to submit with your claim using SDI Online or by mailing a paper document.
If your form is not properly completed, the EDD will not process your claim until all the information is obtained.
Bonding – New Mothers: If you are transitioning from a pregnancy-related disability claim, no additional documents are needed.Bonding – Other Parents: Mothers without a pregnancy-related disability claim, new fathers, and foster or adoptive parents must complete sections one through five of your SDI Online bonding application, and provide a Proof of Relationship document which can 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
Care Claims: Once you complete and submit sections one through five of your PFL Care application, you must also provide:
- The Care Recipient’s Authorization for Disclosure of Personal Health Information.
- 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 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.
To upload the additional bonding or care attachments to your claim, select New Claim from your SDI Online home page main menu and then select Submit Electronic Paid Family Leave Bonding Attachment or Submit Electronic Paid Family Leave Care Attachment. Select the Browse button and once you have attached your document(s), select Submit to finalize the process.
Note: To browse and attach a document, you must have previously scanned and saved the document as a PDF, JPG, TIF, or TIFF file.
If you choose to mail your attachments, use the address provided under Mail on your Confirmation Information screen.
4. The EDD Reviews Your Claim and Determines Eligibility
Once a properly completed claim form is received, the EDD usually determines whether or not you are eligible to receive PFL benefits within 14 days.The EDD will send you the Notice of Computation (DE 429D) 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 and Benefit Payments
If you are eligible for benefits you will be sent a benefit payment notification (DE 2500E).
You can choose how you receive your benefit payments when you file your claim. If you are eligible to receive benefits, the EDD can issue benefit payments by check or by the EDD Debit CardSM through Bank of America. You do not have to accept the EDD Debit Card.
EDD Debit Cardsm: If you are eligible for benefits and ask to be paid by debit card, all authorized benefit payments will be deposited to your EDD Debit Card issued by Bank of America.
The same EDD Debit Card is used for DI, PFL, and Unemployment Insurance payments. It is valid for three years from the date of issue. If you received benefits in the last three years from any of the EDD programs, your benefits will be deposited on the card previously issued to you. Keep your card until the expiration date of the card has passed.
For more information, visit EDD Debit Card.
EDD Checks by Mail: If you are eligible for benefits and you asked to be paid by check, your benefit payments will be issued by EDD check. Allow 7 to 10 days for delivery of checks in the mail.
Not Eligible for Benefits
You must meet eligibility requirements to receive benefits. If you are not eligible for benefits, 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.
5. Certify for Continued Benefits or Discontinue Benefits
Continue Benefits: If you reported intermittent leave or continued work on your claim form, the EDD 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 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, the EDD will send you a Paid Family Leave (PFL) Supplemental Claim Certification (DE 2525XFA) enclosed with the DE 2525XF.
Discontinue Benefits: If you return to work before the physician/practitioner’s estimated date of recovery for your 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.
For more information on how to continue, extend, or discontinue your benefits, review Discontinue, Continue, or Extend Your PFL Benefits.