California’s Paid Family Leave Program

The California Paid Family Leave (PFL) Act is an extension of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. It allows individuals to miss work to care for their families without losing wages. Th e Paid Family Leave Program provides compensation for parents or spouses when they need to miss work due to:

  • Care of a seriously ill child, sibling, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law or registered domestic partner.
  • Bonding with a new child or the new child of a spouse.

Paid Family Leave is not the same as Disability Insurance. They are two different programs, and both need to be applied to separately to qualify. In this section you can find answers to frequently asked questions about the California Paid Family Leave programs:

What do I need to do to apply?

Paid Family leave is a part of the Disability Insurance (DI) program and those covered by DI are also covered by PFL. You must first register for DI, and then you may fi le a claim for PFL. You will need a medical certificate from your relative’s doctor or a birth certificate if applying for PFL to care for a child.

Is my job protected while I’m taking PFL?

PFL provides income replacement while you are on leave, like disability insurance it does not guarantee job protection during your leave. However, you may be eligible for job-protected leave through the services of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA ) or the California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) law.

How much money will I receive?

It will depend on your earnings, but it will be approximately 55% of your earned wages, and weekly benefits range from $50 to a maximum of $1,011. No more than six weeks of PFL benefits may be paid within any 12-month period.

Can I care for a family member who lives outside of the U.S.?

Yes. If you have a family member living outside of the United States who needs to be cared for, this qualifies under the Paid Family Leave Program. You must provide official medical certificates.

I’m pregnant and wonder if I can file a claim for State Disability Insurance benefits?

Yes. A women can claim disability insurance weeks leading up to the birth and during recovery.

Can I apply even if I don’t have a legal right to work in the U.S. or a social security number?

Yes. Even if you are an undocumented immigrant, you are eligible for PFL. As long as you have been working in California and have had State Disability Wages (SDI) withheld from your paycheck, you can collect benefits.

Please visit: for more information on eligibility and the application form. Bilingual services are available Monday through Friday at 1-877- 238-4373.