Eligibility for Paid Family Leave Benefits in California

You may be eligible for paid family leave if you have full-time or part-time employment, and you need to take time off work to take care of seriously ill relatives or to bond with new children. Download our guide to review the specific types of family members who meet the qualifications. If taking this time off work will cause you a loss of wages, and you qualify for PFL, then you will receive a weekly monetary payment for up to six weeks within any 12-month period. Find out more about the eligibility requirements for the Paid Family Leave program in California in the sections below.

Eligibility Requirements for the Paid Family Leave Program in California

In order to be eligible for Paid Family Leave in California, you must meet certain requirements. PFL eligibility requires that you are not able to perform your usual job for at least eight days, because you need to provide care to a seriously ill member of your family or to bond with a new child. Eligibility requirements for the Paid Family Leave program also mandate that you are employed full-time or part-time, or are actively looking for work at the time when your family leave commences. As well as losing wages for taking family leave, you must also meet the required minimum State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions during your previous 12-month base period in order to be able to learn how to apply for PFL in California successfully.

To find out more about eligibility requirements for the Paid Family Leave program, download our comprehensive guide.

PFL Eligibility and the Definition of Serious Illness

For the purpose of eligibility requirements for the Paid Family Leave program, a serious health condition is defined as an impairment, an illness, an injury or a mental or physical condition which prevents your relative from being able to work or perform usual daily activities. You also meet the serious illness PFL eligibility requirements if your relative is receiving inpatient care in a residential care facility, is in hospice or a hospital or is undergoing follow-up treatment from a physician or a nurse practitioner. Conditions that do not meet Paid Family Leave eligibility requirements include cosmetic surgeries (unless your relative is suffering from complications from this type of surgery), minor ulcers, flu, earaches and headaches other than migraines. Download our guide to review more information about serious illnesses in regard to PFL.

Are you eligible for paid family leave?

To meet Paid Family Leave eligibility requirements, you must fill out and submit the Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) form no sooner than nine days after your family leave commences, and no later than 49 days thereafter. If you wait too long to submit your PFL eligibility form, then you may lose your benefits. To complete your PFL eligibility requirements, you may also be asked to provide a certificate from your family member’s doctor or nurse practitioner stating a need for care, after a physical examination of your relative is performed. Your employer will be informed that you have submitted a claim for the Paid Family Leave program, but your medical information will remain confidential. If you meet the Paid Family Leave eligibility requirements, then you can go online to find out how to file a claim.

To learn more about Paid Family Leave eligibility requirements, download our comprehensive guide.

Paid Family Leave (PFL), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) for Employees

You may be wondering about the difference between Paid Family Leave eligibility requirements and employee leave laws. FMLA is the federal leave law, and CFRA is the state leave law. These two laws allow you to take unpaid leave from your employment to take care of yourself, your relatives who are ill or your children who are too young to take care of themselves. Paid Family Leave (PFL), does not affect either law in any way, and is totally unconnected to them. If your employer is subject to the provisions of CFRA and FMLA, then you may be required to take leave under these laws at the same time as you are receiving PFL benefits. You can find out more information about FMLA by visiting the Department of Labor website. Visit the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to find out more information about CFRA. Although receiving PFL does not protect your job, your job may be protected under the FMLA or the CFRA laws.

California PFL Eligibility and the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO)

If you meet the California PFL Eligibility requirements for the purpose of bonding with a new child and you live in San Francisco, then your employer is required to provide supplemental compensation. The Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO) was passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2016. During your leave period, your employer is required to provide PPLO in addition to your PFL, so that the total amount of your combined benefits equals 100 percent of your gross weekly wage.

To review more information about the qualifications for Paid Family Leave in California, download our comprehensive guide.


What Kind of Employment Development Services Are Available in California?

If you are currently unemployed and need help finding a job, the state of California offers unemployment benefits to eligible applicants, in order to help them get by while pursuing work. In addition to financial assistance, the Employment Development Division of California also offers training benefits, which allow unemployed individuals to learn new skills and get a higher education so that they can earn a better living. Find out more about these employment services by downloading our guide.


What Education Assistance Is Available in California?

Just as unemployed individuals can benefit from services offered by the state, so too can college students. California students can qualify for financial aid from the government, such as loans and grants, which can help them cover the costs of higher education. Find out how you can get financial assistance for your schooling by downloading our guide.