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8 April 2020

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave: How NY and Federal Benefits Coordinate

  • 8 April 2020
  • Author: Anupam Garg
  • Number of views: 1936
COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave: How NY and Federal Benefits Coordinate

March 31, 2021 Update: There have been changes to the NY Emergency Paid Sick Leave law (NYEPSL) and federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in 2021, and many of the provisions in this blog post no longer apply.  Please visit this new article on the how the 2021 changes may affect you


COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave: Timing of NY vs. Federal Benefits

Now that we have turned the calendar over to April, when the Federal law (“Families First Coronavirus Response Act”)(FFCRA) may take the primary role in providing benefits for those quarantined due to COVID-19, let’s see what that means for NY employees. Are those who would qualify for NY’s COVID-19 quarantine benefits, still be able to apply for the NY Emergency benefits through their State Short-Term Disability (DBL) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) insurance? Here’s how it works.


New York’s COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Benefits Period

Quarantine days under New York’s Emergency legislation must meet certain criteria (learn more here) to be covered by your DBL/PFL insurance carrier and must occur after March 18, 2020, when the legislation was enacted.  That means, quarantine days before this date are not covered.

Until the Federal “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” became effective on April 1, the NY law was your sole source of emergency sick leave benefits. So, for your qualified quarantine days that fall between March 18-31, 2020, you would submit your claim to your DBL/PFL insurance carrier. Learn more about:

But the new Federal law adds a new layer of complexity to the emergency benefits puzzle since it now acts as the primary source of benefit payments, which the NY law needs to coordinate with.

We’ve put together this helpful infographic which illustrates how NY and Federal COVID-19 Benefit Periods interact.

COVID-19 Benefit Period Infographic

Click here to download as a PDF!


While the Federal law is now your primary benefit source, you may still qualify for NY-specific benefits if you, the covered employee, can’t work due to a qualified quarantine and fall under any of the following circumstances:

  • You earn more than the Federal law’s salary cap:
    • You may file for supplemental Emergency DBL/PFL Quarantine benefits bridging between the Federal and State caps.  More details are below.
  • Your quarantine lasts longer than 2 weeks.
    • The Federal law only pays for 2 weeks of quarantine. So, if your quarantine lasts longer than the 2 weeks, you can apply for benefits under the NY law for the remainder of your quarantine – as long as it qualifies under the NY requirements, which are more stringent than the Federal requirements. Keep reading for details on this.

If you can’t work because you’re caring for your minor child who is under an official Order of Quarantine, visit our FAQs here to learn more.

Please note: ShelterPoint  does not administer claims under the Federal law.   Please direct any claims under the Federal law to your employer, as these benefits may be provided by them.


How NY and Federal definitions of a COVID-19 quarantine compare


While the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” is more lenient in its definition of a qualified quarantine, the maximum benefit is slightly lower than New York’s “Emergency COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave:”

In addition to official quarantines with an Official Order of Quarantine, the Federal law also includes medically recommended self-quarantines and situations in which a claimant is experiencing symptoms while waiting for a medical diagnosis.

How the NY law may supplement Federal benefits


The weekly Emergency NY DBL/PFL Quarantine benefit for your own quarantine is capped at $2,884.62 (or $150,000/year) under the New York law, while the Federal benefits are capped at $511/day (which comes out to $2,555/week or $132,860/year).

So, New Yorkers who qualify based on NY requirements and earn more than $132,860/year may still receive supplemental NY benefits in addition to Federal benefits after March 31, based on their salary and subject to the NY cap.

Let’s take a closer look:

Eligibility Period 

COVID-19 Reason for Leave

Benefit Type1

Covered Employee’s max. Weekly Benefits

March 18-31, 2020

(and then again January 1, 2021, and beyond)

A qualified quarantine meeting specific NY requirements

Check NY criteria here.

NY Law

as sole benefit


April 1 – Dec. 31, 2020

Federal, State, or local Order for Quarantine/Isolation

Federal Law
as primary benefit




Self-quarantine as advised by a health care provider.

Experiencing symptoms and waiting for diagnosis.

A qualified quarantine meeting specific NY requirements
Check criteria here.

For New Yorkers making between $132,860 and $150,000 per year

NY Law

for supplemental


A qualified quarantine meeting specific NY requirements
Check criteria here.


NY Law

for extended


1Employees working for larger employers (100+) do not qualify for the enhanced emergency NY benefits.
2Under the Federal law, there is a lower cap of $1000 per week (or $52,000) when an eligible employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order, or advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider; caring for a son or daughter if the school or place of care has been closed, or childcare provider is unavailable due to precautions, or any other substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. These situations would not apply to the New York law.

Visit this article for more information on the Federal law, which includes benefits for caring for someone else due to COVID-19.

Stay tuned for more information as New York regulations continue to evolve, and get more tools and guidance in our COVID-19 Resource Center



This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel. Please consult with an appropriate professional for legal and compliance advice. Any Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave, Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and/or Paid Family Leave (PFL) information is as of the blog post’s date stamp; it is based on the applicable statutes and regulation, and may change as regulations evolve or NY State issues guidance.




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