California

Navigating Paid Leave in California

Start here!

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Start here if you're giving birth!

You’ll need to file for:

  • State Disability Insurance (SDI) - if you are delivering a baby, you must file for SDI benefits while you are disabled due to pregnancy.
  • Short-term disability insurance (STD), if you have an employer policy (ask HR or refer to your employee handbook)
  • Paid Family Leave (PFL) - both birthing and non-birthing partners can file for PFL benefits. These benefits are only available following the birth or placement of a child and must be taken within 12 months following the birth or placement.

State Disability Insurance (SDI)

Who should apply?

APPLY HERE

Tips for Applying
Collect information about any employers and sources of income over the past 18 months. The amount the state pays is based on a complicated formula that looks at your highest paid quarter over the past 4 to 6 quarters.  You can find more information here.

Prepare to wait. After you file for SDI and/or PFL, the process can take a few weeks while the Employment Development Department (EDD) reviews your application.  

Provide confirmation of your weekly benefit rate to your employer or leave and claims administrator.  If your company works with Parento, also provide a copy to your Parento Leave Administrator.    

Your company may choose not to pay you paid parental leave while you’re waiting for the approval from the state for PFL. While you may be eligible for parental leave pay, you may see a delay.  If you have concerns, reach out to your company.

How much of my pay does SDI cover? Approximately 60-70% of your average weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum of $1,540 (as of 2022), depending on your total income over the 18 month period preceding your claim

When will benefits begin? The first week (7 days) is considered an Unpaid Waiting/Elimination PeriodDuring this time, SDI benefits are not payable. If your company uses Parento and you are an eligible employee, your company will provide parental leave pay for any unpaid waiting period to the limits of the paid parental leave policy.

When am I eligible for SDI?  While your doctor certifies you are unable to perform your normal and usual job duties. You may be eligible to receive benefits up to 4 weeks before your expected due date, and they will continue until you are fully recovered from pregnancy disability (approximately  6 weeks or 8 weeks postpartum). If you have questions about your disability benefits, speak to your healthcare provider.

What to Expect
While you are considered disabled, you may be eligible for SDI from the State of California EDD. These benefits are payable once you stop working and continue while you recover from birth (i.e., 6 weeks for a natural birth or 8 weeks for a C-section). Since each pregnancy and delivery is different, your healthcare provider will need to complete medical certification for your claim.

Once you are no longer disabled, you may be eligible for up to 8 weeks of Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits.  Generally, the EDD will send you information on how to file.  If you have questions on filing for PFL, you can click here.

If your employer has a private STD policy, you will also need to file for those benefits.  Keep in mind, STD benefits are reduced by what you receive from the EDD.  That means you may or may not receive benefits from STD, depending on how much you receive from the EDD.  For more information, please refer to your employer’s STD policy.  

Your company will cover the difference between what SDI, STD, and PFL pay to the limits of the paid parental leave policy. It is important that you file for these benefits as soon as possible to avoid delays in pay.  

Example: Birthing parent eligible for STD, SDI, PFL and 14 weeks of paid parental leave.

Numbers, figures, and projections are estimates only and may not be applicable to you.
Consult with your employer or your state's labor office for more information.

Example: Birthing parent eligible for SDI, PFL and 14 weeks of paid parental leave. 

California Paid Family Leave

Who should apply?

APPLY HERE

Tips for Applying
Apply for PFL as soon as possible once you have left work.  

Collect information about any employers and sources of income over the past 18 months. The amount the state pays is based on a complicated formula that looks at your highest paid quarter over the past 4 to 6 quarters.

Prepare to wait. After you file for PFL, the process can take a few weeks while the EDD reviews your application.  

Provide confirmation of your weekly benefit rate to your employer or leave and claims administrator.  If your company works with Parento, also provide a copy to your Parento Leave Administrator. 

Your company may choose not to pay you paid parental leave while you’re waiting for the approval from the state for PFL. While you may be eligible for parental leave pay, there may be a delay in your pay.  If you have concerns, reach out to your company. 

How much time is available? Up to 8 times your weekly benefit amount in the previous 12 month period.  This is approximately 8 weeks of benefits, assuming your leave is taken in full day increments. 

When will benefits begin? Once you have left work, you can file for PFL benefits. If approved, benefits are payable on day 1.

How much of my pay does PFL cover? Approximately 60-70% of your average weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum of $1,540 (as of 2022), depending on your total income over the 18 month period preceding your claim.

What if I am receiving SDI? The EDD will send information on filing for PFL after your SDI benefits end.

What to Expect
Once you are ready to request parental leave, you may file for Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits.  If you have questions on filing for PFL, click here. If you are the birthing parent, you are also eligible for PFL once you are no longer disabled. 

Your company will cover the difference between what PFL pays to the limits of the paid parental leave policy. It is important that you file for these benefits as soon as possible to avoid delays in pay.

Example: Non-birthing parent eligible for PFL and 14 weeks of paid parental leave.

Example: Birthing parent eligible for STD, PFL, and 14 weeks of paid parental leave. 

Start here if you are the dad, spouse, adoptive or foster parent!

If you are not the birthing mom, you only have to apply for:

  • Paid Family Leave (PFL)

California Paid Family Leave

Who should apply?

APPLY HERE

Tips for Applying
Apply for PFL as soon as possible once you have left work.  

Collect information about any employers and sources of income over the past 18 months. The amount the state pays is based on a complicated formula that looks at your highest paid quarter over the past 4 to 6 quarters.

Prepare to wait. After you file for PFL, the process can take a few weeks while the EDD reviews your application.  

Provide confirmation of your weekly benefit rate to your employer or leave and claims administrator.  If your company works with Parento, also provide a copy to your Parento Leave Administrator. 

Your company may choose not to pay you paid parental leave while you’re waiting for the approval from the state for PFL. While you may be eligible for parental leave pay, there may be a delay in your pay.  If you have concerns, reach out to your company. 

How much time is available? Up to 8 times your weekly benefit amount in the previous 12 month period.  This is approximately 8 weeks of benefits, assuming your leave is taken in full day increments. 

When will benefits begin? Once you have left work, you can file for PFL benefits. If approved, benefits are payable on day 1.

How much of my pay does PFL cover? Approximately 60-70% of your average weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum of $1,540 (as of 2022), depending on your total income over the 18 month period preceding your claim.

What if I am receiving SDI? The EDD will send information on filing for PFL after your SDI benefits end.

What to Expect
Once you are ready to request parental leave, you may file for Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits.  If you have questions on filing for PFL, click here. If you are the birthing parent, you are also eligible for PFL once you are no longer disabled. 

Your company will cover the difference between what PFL pays to the limits of the paid parental leave policy. It is important that you file for these benefits as soon as possible to avoid delays in pay.

Example: Non-birthing parent eligible for PFL and 14 weeks of paid parental leave.

Example: Birthing parent eligible for STD, PFL, and 14 weeks of paid parental leave.