California Paid Family Leave and Disability Insurance benefits to increase January 1

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SACRAMENTO – Beginning January 1, weekly benefits for the state’s Paid Family Leave and Disability Insurance programs increase for workers to take time off to care for ill family members, bond with new children or miss work due to pregnancy, sickness or injury.

Both of the benefit programs are funded entirely by employees through their State Disability Insurance payroll deductions, and they are administered by the California Employment Development Department (EDD). In 2002, California became the first state in the nation to create a Paid Family Leave program.

“When workers need time off for their families or to recover their health, these programs can make it financially possible, “said EDD Director Patrick Henning. “With the increase in benefit amounts for Paid Family Leave and Disability Insurance, more California workers can afford to do so.

Rowena Quinto Kamo said, “On April 26, 2017 I gave birth to my first baby — Edison. The three months following his birth was an incredible time for me to step into my new role as a mother and to concentrate on what mattered most — bonding with my baby and giving myself the time to heal. What allowed me to give my full attention to Edison was knowing that I was receiving an income through California’s Paid Family Leave. I wasn’t stressed out about having to get back to work or worried about whether my job would still be there. Once I returned to work my husband, Jeremy also benefited from PFL by taking time off for himself to have alone time with Edison. We feel so blessed to have had this opportunity to be with our little guy and watch him grow — discovering new things about himself and his surroundings. This was possible with Paid Family Leave.”

Assembly Bill 908 (Gomez), signed by Governor Edmund Brown Jr. In 2016, will increase wage replacement benefits from the current 55 percent to either 60 or 70 percent depending on income. Workers can use EDD’s on-line benefit calculator to determine how much in either Paid Family Leave or Disability Insurance benefits they could receive if they meet eligibility requirements.

The new law also eliminates the one-week waiting period for Paid Family Leave claims.

Paid Family Leave
• provides benefits to California workers who take time off to care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or registered domestic partner
• benefits are also available to new parents who take time off to bond with a child entering their family either by birth, adoption or foster care placement
• makes it possible for mothers transitioning from a Disability Insurance claim due to pregnancy or childbirth to qualify for Paid Family Leave
• provides benefits payable up to six weeks within a 12-month period and this time does not have to be taken all at once
• starting January 1, 2018 provides weekly benefits from $50 to $1,216 depending on an individual’s earnings
• details can be viewed at http://californiapaidfamilyleave.com
Disability Insurance
• provides benefits to California workers to help replace some of the earnings they lose when they are unable to work due to a non-work related illness or injury, pregnancy or childbirth
• benefits are payable for a maximum of 52 weeks
• Starting January 1, 2018 provides weekly benefits from $50 to $1,216 depending on an individual’s earnings.
• Details can be viewed at http://www.edd.ca.gov/Disability/Disability_Insurance.htm

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