Posted on February 16, 2022
The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers Connecticut workers the opportunity to take time to attend to personal and family health needs without worrying about lost income. The Paid Family Authority started operating in Jan 2021. Workers started paying into the fund in Jan 2021 and eligible CT workers can avail of benefits starting Jan 2022.
Here is how this program works:
Who pays for these benefits?
Employees contribute one-half of 1% (0.5%) of their pay, which is deducted from their paycheck by their employer and deposited with the CT Paid Leave Authority. When workers need paid leave, they apply to CT Paid Leave Authority which approves and pays the benefits. Benefits are thus funded by contributions from workers set aside in a separate fund and not by the employer.
Who is eligible to receive these benefits?
Employees are eligible if they have earned at least $2,325 in one of the past few quarters and are currently employed and have been employed during the last 12 weeks in CT. A self-employed individual is eligible if they have opted to participate in the PFML plan.
What are qualifying reasons to take this paid leave?
Employees can take this paid leave to care for one’s serious health condition, take care of a family member with a serious health condition, bond with a new child, and take care of an injured military family member. HERE is the Factsheet which details all qualifying reasons and other information.
How many weeks can an employee take and how much are the benefits?
Qualifying employees can get up to 12 weeks of paid family leave. The actual benefit is dependent on the employee’s income. It can be as high as 95% of an employee’s income. The maximum amount is $780 per week. Click HERE to estimate YOUR paid family leave benefits.
How does one apply?
Employees can apply for benefits online or by telephone up to 45 days before they intend to take leave. Once they apply, they must provide (upload or send) supporting documentation. The Paid Leave Authority makes an approval decision five days after receiving a completed application. The Paid Family Leave Authority outsources the benefits administration to AFLAC, which is under contract to provide a fast turnaround.
Informing your employer
It is essential to inform the employer at the time of application. While the employer does not pay for the leave, they verify the employment information. They will also need to make alternate arrangement to ensure continuity of work in your absence.
HERE is the link for the CT Paid Leave Authority website. Please reply to this email if you would like to attend a zoom session to learn more about CT Paid Family Leave.