Disability insurance is a state-mandated and funded program that offers partial wage replacement for workers through contributions made from payroll deductions. Disability insurance claims do not only cover wage loss that resulted from sustaining a disability, but also Paid Family Leave (PFL).
Historic legislation was enacted for workers who need to take time off to care for a child, spouse, registered domestic partner or parent who is seriously ill. It is also offered to workers who need to bond with a new child. These benefits are covered under disability insurance claims and have been active since July 1, 2004. If your current situation calls for PFL, check out the following information to make the claims process much easier on you and your family.
Take a Look at Eligibility Requirements and Documentation Needed
To qualify for PFL, an employee must file a claim and declare one of the following reasons:
- to provide care to a child, spouse, registered domestic partner or parent who is seriously ill
- to bond with a new child whether the child is biological or adopted
When filing for a claim, there are various types of documentation that must be attached for the claim to be approved. If you are requesting paid leave to care for someone close to you, then you are required to provide a medical certificate or report. The report must include information, such as diagnosis, the date of disability, the estimated time of care required, and must also state that the physicians believe that the employee should provide care.
You will not be able to receive PFL if another family member or individual is able to provide care at the same period of time that you are requesting for benefits.
If you are requesting paid leave to bond with a new child, either a birth certificate or an adoption certificate will need to be attached with the claim. Additional supporting information may also be required to back up your claim depending on the circumstances of your situation.
Keep in mind that you cannot receive PFL if you are also receiving some other form of benefits from disability insurance, unemployment insurance or worker's compensation that exceed your weekly benefit amount. Those who are self-employed also qualify for PFL.
Understand the Coverage and Benefits Offered by PFL
The coverage and benefits that you will receive under PFL will be highly dependent on your income. You are only entitled to up to six weeks of benefits during a 12-month period. Starting from January 1, 2015, the weekly benefits that can be provided by PFL range from $50 to $1,104.
The amount that you will be paid will be dependent on your income. To qualify for the maximum amount, you will need to be earning at least $25,385.46 in each calendar quarter. Weekly benefits are calculated through your base period, which basically takes a look at the amount that you earn each quarter.
To receive your benefits after your claim has been approved, the Employment Development Department (EDD) will provide you with a EDD Debit Card that is valid for three years from the date that it has been issued. You can access all of the authorized benefit payments after they have been deposited into the EDD Debit Payment system.
Ultimately, PFL allows you to claim compensation for wage loss for providing care to a close family member or for getting to know a new child. It is covered under your disability insurance claims, and the application form can be submitted online.
If you are having trouble understanding your rights and how to apply, speak with a disability insurance claims attorney about your situation to determine how you can get the most of this program, so that you sustain the least amount of financial loss during this time of need.