Disclaimer



I've done my best to read each state's program, summarize it here and provide a good reference. It's not easy so I don't expect it to be perfect. The best way to know the rules it is to use the program and I certainly have not filed a claim in every state with a program.

Keep in mind that this information is pulled from state websites that drastically change or disappear from time to time. Links break and states don't publish information consistantly. In fact, I could dedicate a long tirade to state websites and their obfuscation of information. It's so bad that I find it hard to believe that incompetence alone could make it as bad as it is.

It seems that in recent years that state websites have removed information about HOW the benefit is calculated. It's frustrating for me but keeps potential beneficiaries in the dark as well.

If you find an error in the calculations or explanations then use the Site Info link at the bottom of the page to leave me a message. Hopefully the feedback will improve the site for the future.

The links on the left provide a shortcut to the appropriate state sections below.
California

Family Temporary Disability
Insurance (FTDI)

Came into effect mid-2004

Wage Requirement

First, you must determine your base period. Your base period is the first four quarters in the last five quarters. You must have at least $300 in wages that were subject to State Disability Insurance (SDI) taxes in that base period. That's $300 gross or pretax dollars over 12 months and not the net or taxed earnings you received in your paycheck.



Benefit Duration

You may receive up to 6 weeks of Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits in a 12 month period from the claim date. The award does not have to be used within the a six week period. Benefits will contue to be paid out until the total award has been paid out.

Note: Effective July 1, 2020, California will extend PFL benefits from 6 weeks to 8 weeks (see SB83). Individuals may choose to delay filing their PFL claim until July 1, 2020, or after to receive the extended leave benefit.

Benefit Amount

The minimum award is $50 and the maximum weekly award in 2021 is $1,357. The award is calculated based on the highest earnings of any of the four base period quarters. Each quarter is divided into 13 weeks and a maximum Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) is calculated based on the highest quarterly earnings. If your highest base quarterly earnings are less than $929, your WBA is $50.

If your highest quarterly earnings are between $929 and $5,998.57, your WBA is approximately 70% of your earnings. If your highest quarterly earnings are more than $5,998.57, your weekly benefit amount is approximately 60% of your earnings. At $29,380.01 of earning per quarter a ceiling or maximum WBA of $1,357 is reached. Any earnings beyond that will not affect the benefit.

Cost

A 1.2% employee payroll tax is deducted on income up to $128,298 for 2021 for Paid Family Leave and Disability Insurance coverage.

Starting in 2018 California has a tiered benefit rate with 60%, 70% and a cap. Previously the benefit rate was 55% with a cap. Above is a plot showing the estimated award and yearly tax paid for each income level in $10,000 increments. Included is a note on the payback period for the award. In otherwords, how many years of payroll taxes are needed to pay for an award for any given income level. The changes in 2018 can be seen in incomes around/under $20,000/year having a higher benefit rate and a disconnect between the benefit limit and the payroll income limit causing those with incomes around/above $100,000/year to pay more.

State Specifics

Prior to 2018 there was a 7 calenar day waiting period after the claim event (like a birth) before benefits were paid. This is no longer the case.

A good explanation on how the benefits are calculated is available at the state's EDD Website.

Connecticut

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)

Benefits begin in 2022

Wage Requirement

Must have earned more than $2,325 in the highest quarter of your base period and are currently employed or employed in the last 12 weeks or self employed. Your base period is the first four quarters in the last five quarters. This is becoming common among states with Paid Family Leave.



Benefit Amount

The easiest way to understand the benefit amount is to start with the Connecticut minimum hourly wage ($13). The Connecticut minimum weekly wage is 40 hours of the minimum hourly wage, or $520. If your average weekly wages (from your base period) are less than or equal to the Connecticut minimum weekly wage then your weekly benefit will be 95% of your average weekly wage. The Connecticut minimum hourly wage is ramping up from $13 in 2022 to $14 in 2023 and $15 in 2024.

If your average weekly wages exceed the Connecticut minimum weekly wage ($520) then your weekly benefit rate will be 95% of the Connecticut minimum weekly wage ($494) plus 60% of your weekly earnings that are above the Connecticut minimum weekly wage.

The weekly benefit rate is capped at 60 times the Connecticut minimum wage or $780.

The duration is 12 weeks for bonding with a child for a maximum possible benefit of $9,360.

An additional 2 weeks are available if a serious health condition occurs during pregnancy result in incapacitation. Two weeks doesn't seem like much of a consolation for incapacitation, but it's something. The time can be taken consecutively or intermittently in "certain circumstances" - which is not defined. The estimated benefit on this site does not use the potential additional weeks.

Cost

A employee payroll tax of 0.5% is paid by employees starting January 2021.

State Specifics

Information is available at the state's PFML Website. The website is pretty good but it went overboard on using pictures of hands. No faces. Just hands. Hands on hands.

Massachusetts

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)

Came into effect in 2021

Wage Requirement

Must have earned more than $4,700 in the base period. Your base period is the last four completed quarters or the three most recently completed quarters and the portion of the quarter that's already occurred.

Benefit Amount

The weekly benefit is calculated by taking 80% of a worker's average weekly wage up to 50% the State Average Weekly Wagee (SAWW) and 50% of the remaing worker's average weekly wage from that point to the State Average Weekly Wagee (SAWW). In other words, if your average weekly income is above the State Average Weekly Wagee (SAWW) then you would take half the SAWW and multiply by 80% and the other half and multiply by 50%. Combined, that would be 65% of the State Average Weekly Wagee (SAWW).

The maximum weekly benefit is $850 in 2021 and is adjusted annually after that to 64% of the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). In 2021, the maximum weekly benefit using 64% of the SAWW would be $952.

There is currently no information on a minimum benefit. If you assume the minimum eligible income is evenly divided over 4 quarters then we can estimate that the minimum benefit would be something like $72 per week, $868 in total.

The duration is 12 weeks for bonding with a child. There are a number of other cases such as illness or injury but the estimated benefit provided on this site assumes bonding and will use 12 weeks.

Cost

A employee payroll tax of 0.75% is relabeled a "premium" and can be split in a number of different ways between the employer and employee. Either way, that is 0.75% that is not going to the employee.

State Specifics

There is a 7 day waiting period. It's not clear if this period has to be unpaid or just a gap between childbirth and filing a claim.

Some information is available at the state's PFML Website. I found the site somewhat lacking is specifics but it's usable.

New Jersey

Family Leave Insurance (FLI)

Came into effect mid-2009

Changes in 2020

Due to low participation in the plan the New Jersey legislature made some changes in 2020. If you would like to see how the program worked in 2019 prior to the changes then check out the link here.

Wage Requirement

New Jersey uses a "base year" to deterimine eligibility for Family Leave Insurance. Your base period is the first four quarters in the last five quarters prior to the quarter in which the claim event occurs. This is a change in 2020 that has been adopted in several other states as well.



To qualify for Family Leave Insurance, you must have worked 20 weeks and earned at least $220 each week, or have earned a combined total of $11,000 in those four quarters (the base year).

Benefit Duration

You can receive up to six weeks (42 days) of benefits during the 12 month period following your claim date or until you receive benefits up to one-third (1/3) of your earnings during your base year, whichever is less.

Benefit Amount

Your benefit amount is based on your average weekly wage during the base year. As described above, a "base week" is any week that you earned more than $220. Take the total amound earned in those base weeks and divide by the number of base weeks you had. This should be easy if you earned over $11,000 since you can simply divide your total earnings in your base year by the total number of weeks in a year, 52. As shown on the FLI website, this is not the case and each week must have earnings above $220 to be included as a base week.

The weekly benefit is two-thirds (2/3) of your base period average weekly wage up to a maximum of $903.

Year 2020 presents a special case as they transition from the old program to the new program. For January 1, 2020-June 30, 2020, the maximum weekly benefit is $667. As of July 1, 2020 the maximum weekly benefit increases to $881.



Cost

Starting January 1, 2021, each worker contributes 0.28% of the taxable wage base. For 2021, the taxable wage base is $138,200, and the maximum yearly deduction for Family Leave Insurance is $386.96. The taxable wage base changes each year. This can be confusing since Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) is also a payroll tax of roughly the same amount.

State Specifics

There is no indication of a 7 consecutive day waiting period after the claim event/date following the changes of 2020.

New Jersey has a website for Family Leave Insurance (FLI) and another for both FLI and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI).

New York

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

Come into effect January 2018

Wage Requirement

Employees with a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible after 26 weeks of employment.

Employees with a regular schedule of less than 20 hours per week are eligible after 175 days worked. The days worked don't need to be consecutive.


Benefit Amount and Duration

The important thing to understand about New York's PFL is that a weekly maximum is set using a percent of your weekly income and a percent of the New York State's Average Weekly Wage (AWW). The AWW is updated annually and can be found here. The AWW for 2021 is $1,450.17 resulting in a maximum weekly benefit amount of $971.61.

Year Weeks
Available
Max % of Employee Average Weekly
Wage
Cap % of State Average Weekly
Wage
Cap of Weekly Benefit
2018 8 50% 50% $652.96
2019 10 55% 55% $746.41
2020 10 60% 60% $840.70
2021 12 67% 67% $971.61

If your average weekly wage is MORE than $100 then the minimum benefit amount is $100. If your average weekly wage is LESS than $100 then the state will provide your full wages. In other words, if your average weekly wage is $50 then your weekly benefit will be $50 and if your average weekly wage is $150 then your weekly benefit will be $100.

Leave can be taken either all at once or in full-day increments. You may take the maximum time-off benefit in any given 52-week period starting on the first day you take Paid Family Leave.

Cost

New York’s Paid Family Leave is entirely employee-funded. The maximum employee contribution in 2021 is 0.511% of an employee’s weekly wage up to the annualized New York State Average Weekly Wage. Deductions began July 1, 2017.

Using the 2021 AWW the payroll contribution is capped at an annual maximum of $385.34 or $7.41 per week.


State Specifics

Employees do not have to take all of their sick leave and/or vacation before using paid family leave. There is no waiting period between the event (like a birth) and when the employee becomes eligible for PFL.

Paid Family Leave only begins after birth and is not available for prenatal conditions.

You may use PFL over the 12 months following an eligilbe birth, adoption, fostering, family care, or FMLA active duty notification.

An employer may permit you to use sick or vacation leave for full pay, but may not require you to use this leave. This is an important point because you can use vacation to get time off without an immediate wage impact but that time is still considered a loss of income and does not impact your PFL payment.

New York has a good website explaining the program in more detail here.

Oregon

Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI)

Comes into effect January 2023

Wage Requirement

Must have earned more than $1,000 in the base year. Your base period is the first four quarters in the last five quarters prior to the quarter in which the claim event occurs. Several other states use this same base year period.



Benefit Amount

Benefit will be 100% of average weekly wages up to 65% of the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) and 50% of average weekly wages beyond that point. The maximum weekly benefit is 120% of the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). A minimum benefit has not yet been set.

The duration is 12 weeks to care for self or family member and 14 weeks for pregnancy and childbirth. The estimated benefit provided on this site assumes childbirth or bonding and will use 14 weeks.

Cost

A employee payroll tax is will be deducted starting January 1, 2022 but the rate has not yet been set. The rate will not exceed 1% of wages on the first $132,900 per year. Specifically, for employers with more than 25 employees the premium is split with 60% coming from the employee and 40% coming from the employer but in the end that is 100% that is not going to the employee.

State Specifics

There is no waiting period.

Limited information is available at the state's PFMLI Website.

Rhode Island

Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI)

Came into effect January 2014

Wage Requirement

Rhode island uses two slightly different base periods to determine eligibility.

The first option: you need to have earned at least $13,800 in wages during the first four of the last five completed quarters. This is your base period ...unless you don't quite meet the earnings requirement. Then you can use the last four completed quarters.



The second option: you need to have earned $2,300 in one of the first four quarters of the last five base period quarters and the total base period wages need to be at least 1.5 times the highest quarter earnings, and total base period earnings of at least $4,600. Again, if you don't quite reach the minimum earnings requirement then try using the last four completed quarters.

I was hoping they could make those options a little more complicated.

Benefit Duration

Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) has a duration of 4 weeks. Don't confuse it with Temporary Disability Insurance's (TDI) 30 weeks.

Benefit Amount

The weekly benefit is 4.62% of total high quarter wages in base period (the last 4-5 quarters). The minimum weekly benefit is $107 per week and is based on a $10.10 per hour minimum wage. The maximum weekly benefit is $887 and is based on the 2021 Average Weekly Wage (AWW).

Not content with simplicity, Rhode Island adds to the benefit with a dependency allowance. The allowance is the greater of $10 or 7% of the weekly benefit rate up to five dependents. That means the maximum weekly benefit with five dependents can swell to $1,197.

Cost

Rhode Island deducts 1.3% of an employee's first $74,000 of pay.

State Specifics

There is no waiting period. Disability insureance, for situations like non-job related illness, require 7 days of unemployment. It can be confusing.

Rhode Island had a very nice but very ugly Quick Reference Guide but new website has been launched as an FAQ but most of the time the link is broken. An alternative is the TDI/TCI Guide for Employers that has some good information.

Washington

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Came into effect January 2020

Wage Requirement

Washitonians will be eligible to apply for benefits in January 2020. "Premiums," known as "taxes" in the rest of the universe, began to be paid as payroll taxes starting January 2019. To be eligible for benefits an employee needs to have worked 820 hours during the previous year.

The funny thing is that the "previous year" can either be the first four of the last five quarters, similar to how California establishes a base period, or it can be the previous four quarters like a calendar might define the "previous year."



Benefit Duration

Washitonians are entitled to benefits for up to 12 weeks. But in Washington 12 weeks is sometimes 16 weeks and can even be 18 weeks in extreme cases if Paid Family Leave is used in combination with Paid Medical Leave - which you probably thought were ONE program from the title. To be clear, on this site the benefit duration is 12 weeks in the calculations.

Benefit Amount

The weekly benefit is calculated in three easy steps.

Step 1) Calculate your average weekly wage by taking your total wages from the two highest base period (previous 4-5 months) quarters and dividing that total by 26. In other words, during the previous year (in Washington this can be up to 15 months) you will need to find the two quarters (13 weeks each) with the highest earnings and calculate the average weekly wage by dividing by the number of weeks in two quarters which is 26. Round down to the nearest dollar.

Step 2) Determine if the average calculated in Step 1 is over or under 1/2 the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). The State Average Weekly Wage in 2021 is $1,340 and is calculated every year. In this case 1/2 the SAWW is $670.

Step 3) Calculate the weekly benefit with additional sub-steps! I bet you didn't see that coming. You could argue that Step 3 should have been a sub-step of Step 2 in the first place but I digress.

Sub-step 3.1) If the average weekly wage calculated in Step 1 is LESS than 1/2 the State Average Weekly Wage then the benefit is 90% of the average weekly wage calculated in Step 1. Round down to the nearest dollar with a minimum award of $100 per week.

Sub-step 3.2) If the average weekly wage calculated in Step 1 is MORE than 1/2 the State Average Weekly Wage then there are two more steps! Part A and Part B ...then a Part C that apparently didn't count as a "Part" or "Step" in the state's view yet they include instructions for it.

Part A) Take 90% of the average weekly wage calculated in Step 1 with a maximum being 1/2 the State Average Weekly Wage, $670.

Part B) Take 50% of the average weekly wage calculated in Step 1 that is ABOVE 1/2 the State Average Weekly Wage, $670.

Part C) Sum Part A and Part B together and round down to the nearest dollar. The maximum benefit is $1,206 so drop anything above that amount.

See! Three easy steps and you're done. In summary, figure out your average weekly wage from the previous 12-15 months. An average below 1/2 the State Average Weekly Wage ($670) will get you an award of 90% of your average. An average above 1/2 the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) will get you an award of $603.00 plus 50% of the average above $670 (i.e. Weekly Award = (90% x $670) + (50% x (Your Average Weekly Earnings - $670)). The minimum weekly award is $100 and the maximum weekly award is $1,206.

Cost

As mentioned above, "Premiums," known as "taxes" in the rest of the universe, will begin to be paid as payroll taxes starting January 2019. Washington deducts 0.4% of an employee's first $142,800 of pay. The income cap is the social security cap for 2021, which is a limit for FICA payroll taxes - possibly also known as "premiums" in Washington. In a similar fashion to FICA taxes the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave taxes are supposedly "split" between the employee paying 37% and the employer paying 63%. This is nonsense and political magic. The 63% the employer is paying is money that would have been paid in wages to the employee. The cost to the employee is 0.4% with a maximum cost per year of $571.20.

State Specifics

There is no waiting period.

Washington has several flyers describing the program for years prior to 2021 and found the best to be the Employee FAQ and the Award Calculation Flyer. Another overview from May 2020 is Patient and Family Guide. Nothing as good was available for 2021.

Currently, the best website for the program in the current year is: Find out how Paid Family Leave works. Unfortunately, it's light on details. At least the details that I'm looking for.