Paid Family Leave California

When Baby Buck was still in the oven, I knew about maternity leave and nothing else. In speaking with other fathers, I learned that California has a benefit called Paid Family Leave. Both parents are eligible for financial assistance while taking time off from work to bond with their new little one. The only limitation is this benefit expires after the baby’s first year. Secondly, paperwork has to be submitted before 41 days of the time off. Don’t ask me why they picked 41.

If you go past this time, you can still submit your form with a written explanation. Similar to unemployment, the weekly benefit is based on your current salary. The basic questions you need to answer is child’s birth date, the start and end date of your time off, and what type of leave you are taking (vacation, unpaid, and other). You also don’t need to take all your time off in one lump sum. You can spread time off across the baby’s first year.

Final Thoughts

When you welcome your little one, your life completely changes. You are bombarded with countless items to think about. However, don’t forget about your paid family leave benefit or else you will be leaving hard earned money on the table.

For more information, visit Paid Family Leave – California today.

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16 Responses

  1. Moneycone says:

    As an ex-californian, I have to say that is an interesting fact! I wonder how many of my friends in CA knew about this!

  2. krantcents says:

    As a concept, I think it is a great idea, but few take advantage of it. I think there is still a bias against men taking time off with their children. Hopefully, this will change.

  3. AverageJoe says:

    Interesting. I never knew this existed. I’ll bet lots of people don’t take advantage of it.

  4. Next question- does this law apply to adoptive parents? One of the things I’m noticing in WA (where we do not have this benefit) is that while leave is protected for all new parents, only women who give birth get actual paid benefits. All fathers and adoptive mothers must use their paid time off if they want to get any money while they are off work and bonding.
    In some sense, I am lucky because my company provides two weeks fully paid bonding leave to all parents. However, for any time I want to take after that, while it is protected by FMLA and state laws, if I want to get any money (and as the sole earner, I kind of have to) I must use my PTO. I can’t even used the hours in my sick bank, even though I could use them if I gave birth. It’s really very frustrating.
    Hopefully, the CA benefit applies to all parents, including mothers who don’t physically give birth.

  5. I live in California and this is all new to me! Are there any other laws I should know about?

  6. That is great information! I think it is so important for parents to have time off with their children–both parents.

  7. LIsa says:

    I was wondering if you knew of anyone receiving the benefit that filled out the paperwork after one year? My husband took off two weeks but we got busy and didn’t file the paper work in til over a year later. It has now been denied and we intend to appeal it. I wrote a letter as to why we were delayed but they either didnt read it or denied it after reading it. any thoughts on how to win this benefit?

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Sounds like a tough situation. For me personally, I submitted my paper work with an explanation on why I missed the 41 day cutoff and was accepted. But I don’t know if it is possible or ever heard of someone successfully claiming assistance after a full year. My suggestion is to give the office a call. You may need to wait a bit as they are always busy, but the operators I worked with were very nice to deal with. Explain the situation and see if you have any options. From whatever the operator says, you can gauge if it’s worth appealing again. Good Luck!

  8. Rossy says:

    My husband sent the application past the 41 day deadline also. His HR at work (Albertsons) was giving him a hard time and did not send us the approved letter stating he can take the weeks off until this Sept. (Baby was born in June and we requested PFL to begin in June) We just got a letter back from EDD stating they only approved 9 days. We are thinking about appealing but do we have to go to court to do this or is it all through mail? If we wanted to spread out the weeks of PFL how do we go about doing so? Must we submit a new application each time to EDD? We are first time parents so this is all new to us. I really appreciate your help. Thank you.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      First off, congratulations on your new bundle of joy! I know the paperwork surrounding you can be overwhelming. Just breathe.

      First off, call the EDD in the middle of the week (not as busy as Monday and Tuesday) and explain your situation to them. Everyone I talked to was extremely understanding and helpful. Second, there is a 7 day waiting period where you are not eligible for assistance. For example, if you turned in 16 days, you are only eligible for 9 as they do not count the first 7.

      If you appeal, call EDD for assistance as I did not go through any appeal process. I explained my situation, they accepted, and gave me financial assistance. Finally, you can break up your PFL time. I took a few days here and there, but you only have one year after your little one’s birth date. Per their suggestion, I made copies of the original form and filled out the dates I was taking off. If you already used your form, contact PFL and have them send you a new one. Good Luck!

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