NY Paid Family Leave Benefits - Couple playing with a baby close-up

Statutory Benefits

NY Paid Family Leave Benefits

How the NY Paid Family Leave Benefit Works

Paid Family Leave benefits provides up to 12 weeks of partially paid time-off along with job protection. The benefit amount may change a little bit every year: while it’s set at 67% of your average weekly wage (AWW) capped at 67% of NY’s Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW), the SAWW is updated each year by the state. So if the SAWW goes up, the maximum benefit goes up. See the current benefit level and learn more about calculating your benefit here.

 

 

Family bonding  


10 Fast Facts of NY Paid Family Leave Benefits

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Employees may take paid leave in weekly or daily increments (intermittent leave).

 

  • The maximum length for all PFL-qualifying events: 12 weeks (capped at 60 days for intermittent leave) in a consecutive 52-week period.
    • This counts from the first day of paid leave.
    • It is based on the calendar year, not your policy year.
    • The 52-week period starts with the first day of either DBL taken or paid family leave.

 

There is no “waiting period” once the employee meets eligibility requirements.

 

Maximum length for DBL and PFL benefits can’t exceed 26 weeks in any consecutive 52-week period.

 

Employees may take paid leave for multiple Paid Family Leave events in a consecutive 52-week period as long as the overall leave doesn’t exceed the maximum length they may take. For example: bonding and caring. Caring for a family member, taking rest and recuperation leave (under military exigency) and then bonding, etc.

 

Employees must provide their employer with a 30-day written notice for foreseeable events (like birth or regular, scheduled treatments). If they can’t provide this notice due to the sudden nature of the event (an accident, heart attack, or short-notice deployment, for example), they’re still entitled to take leave, but must notify their employer as soon as reasonably possible.

 

If the gap between leave dates is more than 3 months, a new claim package will need to be completed and submitted to your insurance carrier.

 

Benefits are paid from the insurance carrier to the employee within 18 days of filing a completed claim (i.e. from the time the carrier has all required documentation on hand – learn more here about claim tips and ShelterPoint submission guidelines.

 

If the employee’s wages are continued during the leave, the employer can receive the reimbursement.

  • Benefits paid may be offset by child support deductions.
  • Benefits paid to employees are considered taxable non-wage income that must be included in federal gross income for tax reporting purposes. (Assuming they receive $600 or more in a calendar year.)

 

The benefit amount that is in effect at the time the leave began applies to the full duration of the paid leave for that event, even if a new calendar year with increased benefit levels falls within that period.

 

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To get an idea of your
potential PFL benefit amount, use our easy

Paid Family Leave
Weekly Benefit Estimator


What Paid Family Leave Can Be Used For

In New York, there are 3 main qualifying events eligible employees can use Paid Family Leave for:

Father bonding with baby

 




Bonding

with a new child after birth, adoption, or welcoming a foster child into your home
Granddaughter caring for grandma

 




Providing care

for a family member with a serious health condition
Soldier holding family member in the air at home-coming

 




Military exigencies

related to a family member being called to active service

Please Note: For information on COVID-19 related Paid Family Leave benefits go here.

 


NY Paid Family Leave Maximum Benefit Amount and Duration

Paid Family Leave benefits in 2021 are 67% of an employee’s average weekly wage, capped at 67% of the NY State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW), which is currently set at $1,450.17.*

This translates into a maximum benefit of $971.61 per week.

Weekly Leave

Taking weekly leave can be relatively simple to figure out. Here’s the 2021 info for the maximum benefit duration and amount you can receive when taking paid leave in weekly increments (regardless of full-time or part-time status):

Benefit effective
date**

Jan. 1,
2021


Maximum length of paid leave
 

12 WEEKS*



Maximum benefit amount* 

Payable % of employee's average weekly wage (AWW)

67%

Benefit capped at 67% NYSAWW

$971.61

Benefit  maximum based on current NYSAWW of $1,450.17*




 

Please note: The benefit amount that is in effect at the time the leave began applies to the full duration of the paid leave for that event, even if a new calendar year with increased benefit levels falls within that period.


What Does This Mean For You?

Let's look at some examples:


Example 1

If you make $1,000 per week

(less than the NYSAWW),

your weekly Paid Family Leave benefit
will be
$670.00.


Example 2

If you make $1,450.17 per week

(the same as the NYSAWW),

your weekly Paid Family Leave benefit
will be
$971.61.


Example 3

If you make $2,000 per week

(more than the NYSAWW),

your weekly Paid Family Leave benefit
will still be
$971.61.


Intermittent Leave

The benefit for employees who take PFL in daily increments is based on their average number of days worked per week during the last 8 weeks before starting their paid leave. A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Number of hours worked during those days has no influence on the maximum benefit. For example: a part-time employee and a full-time employee who both work 5 days of the week are entitled to the same number of intermittent Paid Family Leave days.

  • The total number of intermittent days is capped at 60 days, even if someone works more than 5 days per week on average.

Benefit stage effective date** 01/01/2021
Maximum average # of days worked/week 7
Maximum # of intermittent days 60 days
Employee's daily benefit AWW/days worked
To the maximum % of NYSAWW 67%
$ Max based on current NYSAWW of $1,450.17* $971.61

 

 

To calculate how many intermittent days you can take off, simply look at the average number of days you worked in the prior 8 weeks before Paid Family begins:

Average # of days worked per week Maximum number of intermittent days
1 12
2 24
3 36
4 48
5 60
6 60
7 60

 

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PFL Expert Tip:

Intermittent leave gives employees the flexibility to accompany a sick family member to regular doctor visits or to help find creative ways of navigating childcare challenges during baby’s first year.

For example: Mom could take PFL time every Monday and Dad every Friday, leaving new parents with just 3 days of the work week to make childcare arrangements.

For more in-depth examples that illustrate how intermittent leave is anticipated to work, download our ABC’s of PFL now!

 

*NY Department of Labor releases the updated NYSAWW on or about March 31st of the prior applicable calendar year. The NYSAWW applicable to 2021 is $1,450.17 = $75,408.84 per year.
**Please not: Benefits for claims with start dates prior to 2021 are subject to lower benefit levels.

How to Calculate the Average Weekly Wages for
Benefit/Claims Purposes

To calculate the average weekly wage (AWW), look at your previous 8 weeks of wages from the same employer (if less than 8 weeks of wages with that employer are available, a portion thereof):

  1. Add up total wages from all 8 weeks (or portion) immediately preceding Paid Family Leave
    a. to the last day worked prior to the first day of paid family leave; or
    b. excluding the week in which the Paid Family Leave began. Whichever is the higher amount will be used for PFL benefit calculation purposes.
  2. Divide by 8 (or by the respective portion)

Head spinning from all that math? Use our estimator that walks you through step-by-step, and does all the math for you! Get your AWW and estimated weekly PFL benefit here.

baby booties

What Form of Wages Count for the AWW Calculation?

Wages (for the purposes of Paid Family Leave):




Include

any monetary compensation from your employer (for example, salary, bonuses, and commissions).




Include

the reasonable value of board, rent, housing, lodging or similar advantage you received where such are provided by the employer during the period of Family Leave.





Exclude

the cash value of benefits, that are not subject to New York State personal income tax (for example, a 401(k) match).


How do business owners and self-employed people with voluntary coverage calculate their AWW?

Business Owners:
  • For individual business owners without employees but who have voluntary coverage, your average weekly wage is determined as follows:
    • Take the total net income in the 52-week period immediately preceding Paid Family Leave and divide those total wages by 52.
Self-employed People:
  • Take your earnings subject to federal self-employment tax for the previous full calendar year and divide by 52.
  • If there is not 52 weeks of self-employment income for the previous full calendar year, use the following calculation:
    • Add your wages and self-employment income for the previous calendar year and divide by 52.

The ABCs of PFL

Our in-depth guide provides everything you need to know about Paid Family Leave in New York. Here’s what you’ll find inside this 33-page guide:

  • PFL basics
  • Eligibility
  • Benefit eligibility and qualification period details
  • Benefits - updated for 2021
  • Claims
  • Premium - updated for 2021
  • Example withholdings - updated for 2021
  • Employer responsibilities
  • How PFL compares to DBL & FMLA
  • Tips from your PFL Experts
  • …And much more!
Download your copy now

ABCs of PFL brochure cover

Learn More About NY Paid Family Leave

Paid Family Leave And COVID-19

As the impact of COVID-19 (the illness caused by the novel Coronavirus) continues to grow and puts so many of us at risk, we have created a COVID-19 Resource Center for important updates and information – including how New York’s “Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law” impacts New York Paid Family Leave.


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Family bonding
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NY Paid Family Leave Benefit FAQs

Does this cover leave for illness?

No, not for the employee’s own illness – that would be covered under New York’s statutory short-term disability (DBL). Paid Family Leave is meant for caring for someone else, such as caring for a seriously ill family member or bonding with a newborn or adopted child.

If an employee uses this benefit one year, and needs it again during future years, is that allowed, or is it a one-time benefit only?

Yes, this is allowed. There is no “lifetime max”, and benefits are per 52-week period. You can read more about employee eligibility here.

How soon does an employee have to inform that they will be taking Paid Family Leave?

An employee must provide the employer with at least 30 days advance notice before the planned paid leave if the qualifying event is foreseeable, such as
  • an expected birth, placement for adoption or foster care;
  • planned medical treatment for a serious health condition of a family member;
  • the planned medical treatment for a serious injury or illness of a covered service member or other known military exigency
If a 30-day advance notice is not practicable (due to, for example, lack of knowledge, a change in circumstances, or a medical emergency), notice must be given as soon as practicable under the facts and circumstances of the qualifying event, ideally within the time required by the employer’s usual and customary notice internal policy.

Is your job guaranteed if you take Paid Family Leave?

Yes. Job protection is part of the NY Paid Family Leave benefit.

Does Paid Family Leave run concurrently with federal FMLA?

Yes, if concurrent eligibility exists at the specific employer. You can get a side-by-side comparison of the two benefits here.

How does Health Insurance work when an employee is out on leave?

While out on Paid Family Leave, the employee continues to pay their portion of the health insurance premium at the same level they did prior to their paid leave. If that amount changes during their time on PFL, the employee needs to pay the new amount just like all other employees affected by the change.

It is up to the employer to determine the best method of collection, whether to bill during the leave, or to pay the premium in full and collect upon return.

Do other benefits like Life, LTD, and Dental etc. have to be continued like Health Insurance does?

This is decided at the employer’s discretion. We encourage employers to speak with their legal counsel or HR/Tax advisor.

Can the employer coordinate other time off (sick, vacation, etc.) to pay the employee their full pay during a claim?

The employee cannot be forced to take accrued sick/vacation time. They can be offered the opportunity to take earned time off to receive full salary.

Can this be coordinated with PTO the way DBL can? Can we apply paid leave from work (personal days) and also collect on PFL benefits?

No, an employee cannot collect the monetary benefits Paid Family Leave offers while also collecting full salary as a result of paid time off.

When an employee is out on leave, do they still earn PTO?

Usually, accruals are suspended while an employee is on leave, however this decision is up to the employer; we recommend speaking with a tax professional or legal counsel for guidance.

Can Paid Family Leave be taken in addition to DBL or other STD?

No, DBL and Paid Family Leave cannot be taken concurrently. Typically, STD contracts have offset provisions for DBL that pay the STD benefit minus the DBL benefit per diem to prevent over payment of insurance. Some STD contracts may offset for PFL to avoid a situation where a claimant would receive more than 100% of his pay. Please refer to the specific STD contract to be certain.

 

 


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The ShelterPoint family of companies operates under the “ShelterPoint” name strictly as a marketing name, and no legal significance is expressed or implied. The ShelterPoint family of companies consists of ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company, a NY-domiciled carrier, and its wholly-owned subsidiary ShelterPoint Insurance Company, a FL-domiciled carrier, depending on the state. ShelterPoint is a registered service mark.

Underwritten by:
ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company (principal office in Garden City, NY) in: NY
ShelterPoint only offers Paid Family Leave in form of a rider to DBL.
Policy Form# SPL DB0919 F

This page 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 Paid Family Leave information is based on the applicable statutes and may change if guidance is issued by the State of New York.

 

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