Paid Family Leave in California – How PFL Works

How PFL Works

California’s Paid Family Leave insurance program (PFL) provides you with 60-70% of your wages while you take off up to eight weeks of work in order to:

  • care for a seriously ill family member;
  • bond with a new child; or
  • participate in a qualifying event due to a family member’s military deployment.

California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) Program Fact Sheet

California workers covered

  • employees, exempt and non-exempt, who earned at least $300 from which SDI (State Disability Insurance) deductions were withheld.

Amount of pay

  • depending on your income, about 60-70% of your weekly wages – ranging up to a maximum weekly benefit of $1,620.

Length of pay

  • up to 8 weeks total.

Qualifying reasons to take PFL

  • taking care of your seriously-sick spouse, registered domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling.
  • bonding with a new child you welcomed within the last 12 months through birth, adoption, or foster placement.
  • an essential need or qualifying event relating to the foreign military deployment of your spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, or child.

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Am I eligible for PFL?

In order to be eligible for California PFL benefits, you must:

  1. Be unable to do your regular or customary work.
  2. Have lost wages due to the need to:
    1. Provide care for a seriously ill family member
    2. Bond with a new child
    3. Participate in a qualifying event resulting from a family member’s military deployment to a foreign country. For more information about specific eligibility requirements for military family members, visit Paid Family Leave – Military Assist.
  3. Be employed or actively looking for work at the time your family leave begins.
  4. Have earned at least $300 from which State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions were withheld during your base period. Learn more with Calculating Paid Family Leave Benefit Payment Amounts.
  5. Complete and submit your claim form no earlier than the first day your family leave begins, but no later than 41 days after your family leave begins or you may lose benefits.
  6. Provide supporting documentation as required:
    1. A medical certificate on your care claim for the seriously ill family member. The certificate must be completed by the care recipient’s physician/practitioner.
  1. A nurse practitioner or physician assistant may certify to the need for care within their scope of practice; however, they must perform a physical examination and collaborate with a physician or surgeon.
  2. If the care recipient is under the care of an accredited religious practitioner, you may download and print the Practitioner’s Certification for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2502F) (PDF).
    1. Proof of relationship on bonding claims.
    2. Proof of the qualifying event for a military assist claim.

See the California Employment Development Department (“EDD”)’s website for additional information: https://edd.ca.gov/en/disability/Am_I_Eligible_for_PFL_Benefits/.