What You Need and How to Apply for the Paid Family Leave Benefits Coming to New York in 2018

default author image01.20.2018

If you are an employed New Yorker, you are paying into Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits. You can take PFL whenever you have a new child (whether through birth, adoption, or foster care), when you have to care for a family member, or when you are deployed by the military.

In this blog, we’ll list the documents that you’ll need and how to apply for the PFL. If you believe or have been unfairly denied Paid Family Leave as required by New York state law, we are ready to fight for your rights. Please don’t hesitate to call us at (212) 390-8480.

Important Disclaimer: This is meant to be a short guide; for the latest information on the process, please visit the New York State Department of Labor website. This process may vary from employer to employer, so be sure to contact your human resources department.

What You’ll Need to Apply for PFL

As you receive paperwork regarding your situation, collect it. Until you’re certain which documents your employer will require, it’s best to have them all.

  • When applying for maternity leave, if you are the birth mother, you need your child’s birth certificate and documentation of your pregnancy or delivery from the health care provider (with your name and the baby’s due or birth date). If you are the second parent, you need a copy of the child’s birth certificate or a letter verifying paternity and documentation of the pregnancy or delivery from the health care provider (listing the mother’s name and the baby’s due or birth date). You also need a document that verifies your relationship with the birth mother.
  • If you are a foster parent, you need a letter of placement issued by your city or county social services department. Here, if you are the second parent and you’re unlisted on this document, you need a copy of this document and a letter explaining your relationship to the listed parent.
  • For those welcoming an adopted baby, you need legal evidence of the adoption. Once again, if the second parent is not named on the adoption paperwork, he or she needs a copy of that paperwork and a letter explaining his or her relationship with the listed parent.
  • If you are applying for PFL to care for a close relative, you need certification from the care recipient’s healthcare provider.
  • For those applying for a military-related leave, you need a copy of the military duty papers, a US Department of Labor Military Family Leave Certification (Federal Military Leave Form), and other documentation that supports the reason for the leave. This could include meeting documentation, ceremony details, and rest and recuperation orders, to name a few.

Application for PFL

Once you have all your documents collected, follow these simple steps to apply for PFL.

  1. Notify your employer at least 30 days before you want your leave to start that you wish to take Paid Family Leave. If you’re inside the 30-day window, notify your employer as soon as possible.
  2. Gather your forms, and contact your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier. Your human resources department can help you contact the correct people. Fortunately, the State makes it easy for people to access the necessary forms. Here are links to all the papers you will need to fill out according to the New York State website if you want to:
    1. Bond with a Newborn, a Newly Adopted or Foster Child
    2. Care for a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition or
    3. Assist Families in Connection with a Military Deployment.
  3. Complete and file your paperwork. Remember to keep copies of your completed forms before you file them. It’s your employer’s responsibility to complete their portion of your Request for Paid Family Leave (Form PFL-1) in three business days. If they don’t do this, move on to step 4.
  4. Send all of your paperwork (including your supporting documents) to your employer’s PFL insurance carrier. Remember to complete this step at least 30 days before you want your leave to start. The insurance carrier has 18 calendar days to either pay or deny your request.

Let Us Help Your Protect Your Rights!

For most employed New Yorkers, you are paying for Paid Family Leave. As long as you are eligible, it is illegal for your employer to refuse to offer you these benefits. If you think that this is happening or has happened to you, please contact our firm at (212) 390-8480. Attorney Susan Crumiller and her team can review your situation and advise you on how to proceed.