How to Apply for Paid Family Leave in California

To file for Paid Family Leave you need to submit a claim by mail. To start, you must fill out the correct form to file a claim for PFL benefits. You must follow the steps carefully, because you will need to provide different information depending on your specific circumstances. To find out more about how to apply for Paid Family Leave in California, continue on to the sections below.

Paid Family Leave Claim Process

To file your PFL application, you must fill out a paper Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) form. There are several ways you can obtain a PFL application form. You can visit or call your local SDI Office and ask for a form to file a claim for PFL benefits, you can obtain the form from your doctor or employer or you can order a form online.

To learn more about the Paid Family Leave Claim Process, download our comprehensive guide.

How to Complete a PFL Application Form

The Paid Family Leave claim process differs according to the claim you make. When you file a claim for PFL benefits, make sure that you read the form very carefully and provide the specific information needed for your caregiving or bonding situation. Here is an explanation of the different PFL application categories:

New mothers: If you are filing for Paid Family Leave as a new mother who is transferring from a Disability Insurance (DI)-related pregnancy claim to a child bonding claim, you will automatically receive the appropriate form in the mail at the same time your last DI payment is issued. To make this type of PFL application, you must fill out all sections of the form and submit it within 41 days of the date you wish to begin your bonding claim. You are not required to provide any additional documentation.

Bonding claims: If you are filing for Paid Family Leave to bond with your new infant, adopted child or foster child, you need to complete Part Aof the DE 2501F form. You will also need to complete Part B of the PFL application, and provide a proof of relationship document with your bonding claim.

Care claims: For this type of PFL application, you must fill in the Care Recipient’s Authorization for Disclosure of Personal Health Information as well as Part C of the form. If you are filing for Paid Family Leave as a caregiver, then you will also need part D – Physician/Practitioner’s Certification. This section of the form must be filled out by your relative’s healthcare provider. Your doctor can submit Part D using SDI Online, provided he or she signs it beforehand. In this case, it will take the EDD about five days to process your claim. Once the EDD has received your claim, your doctor can search for it through SDI Online by entering the last four digits of your Social Security Number, your date of birth and your last name.

To learn more about PFL-eligible categories, download our free guide. Whichever category you are applying under, you will need to provide the following:

  • Your full name and address
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your California driver’s license number
  • Contact details of your current employer
  • Details of when you last worked your regular hours and when you began working fewer hours

How to Submit your PFL Application

Submit your completed PFL application form and any other information to the EDD mailing address listed on the form. Remember, don’t file a claim for PFL benefits earlier than nine days after the first day your family leave begins, and don’t file later than 49 days after your family leave begins. Your complete application for bonding should include Parts A and B, and relevant supporting documents. Your complete application for caregiving should include Parts A, C, D and the Care Recipient’s Authorization for Disclosure of Personal Health Information. You may submit your application through SDI Online. This method of filing has a number of advantages including:

  • Reducing your claim’s processing time.
  • Eliminating the cost of paper and postage fees.
  • A number of security safeguards.
  • Online system access 24/7.

Your PFL applicationclaim will not be processed unless you have fully completed it and included any other necessary documentation. Double check your form to make sure you have filled in all the required sections for your particular type of claim (as explained above). The EDD will contact you to let you know the status of your claim after you apply for PFL in CA, and also to request any additional information needed. If you are having difficulty filling in your form, then take the online SDI Online Claimant Tutorial.


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.