Will I qualify for New York State paid family leave?
August 15, 2017 8:59 AM   Subscribe

New York State recently introduced Paid Family Leave. I'm pregnant, and I need to make a decision that may affect my eligibility.

I'm pregnant, and due in late February. For my last child, I had short-term disability insurance, which provided a much-needed cushion during my maternity leave. While the PFL is not as generous (in its first year), I would like to avail myself of it.

I was offered a new job, and it starts September. Sep 1 is 25 weeks to my due date. Qualification for PFL requires 26 weeks.

Is there a way to still qualify? If I remain on payroll, using sick/vacation days until 26 weeks have elapsed, and only begin collecting at the 26 week point, will that work? Or is the date of childbirth a hard limit?

Previously, under disability leave with NYSIF (which maxed at a much lower rate), there was a one week waiting period. Does this factor in?

Because, as I understand it, this is not paid for by the employer, but by the state's general fund, does the 26 weeks have to be with this employer? I'm technically employed now, although I'm off for the summer. There seems to be a provision that teachers and similar jobs with no summer work can have that reasonable gap – I'm a classroom aide, who didn't work summer school/camp, does this apply to me?

Any information/solutions would be appreciated.

Thank you!
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (2 answers total)
Just to check - have you called the phone number at the bottom?

Questions? Call the Paid Family Leave Helpline at 844-337-6303 from 8:30am – 4:30pm ET, Monday - Friday

These are specific questions with right answers, so it's best to go to the source. I don't know about these guys in particular, but when I have needed to call similar agencies they were very helpful.
posted by brainmouse at 9:12 AM on August 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Just FYI, the benefits are not paid by the state's general fund, they're paid either by the employer's disability insurer (and employers may pass the premium increase for this coverage along to employees, but the cost is capped by the state at something like $1.25/week) or employers can forgo insurance and pay for the benefits directly. But the 26 weeks is definitely with one employer, not working in general (there's a different eligibility standard for part-time work, in case that's helpful info as well).

I would definitely call the help line to figure out exactly what your options are in this situation. I've called them before and they were extremely thorough and helpful. If the help line can't give you a definite answer, it may also be worth it to talk to your prospective employer about how they're planning to implement the program.

The website is also helpful, and does answer a decent number of what-if questions, so something similar to yours may be on there.
posted by snaw at 11:13 AM on August 15, 2017

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