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The Employment Development Department (EDD) has an exciting, new change coming this summer to one of its programs. Effective July 1, 2020, California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) program will extend the maximum duration of Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits from 6 weeks to 8 weeks within a 12-month period. This applies to PFL claims with a start date of July 1, 2020, or after.

PFL allows your employees to take paid time off work to care for a seriously ill family member (child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner) or to bond with a new child (either by birth, adoption, or foster care placement). If your employees experience either of these life events, you play a critical part in helping them access PFL benefits. Your role is to inform your employees of the available benefits and respond to the notice sent by the EDD after an employee files a claim. Your prompt response to EDD notices ensures your employees receive timely benefit payments and helps prevent program fraud.

California’s PFL program keeps businesses healthy, too. Market research found that PFL had either a “positive effect” or “no noticeable effect” on business productivity, profitability, and performance. We ask that you encourage your employees to use their available benefits when they need it most. Your employees’ payroll tax contributions fully fund the PFL program so there is no direct cost to employers.

Your employees can electronically file for PFL and Disability Insurance (DI) benefits through SDI Online. You, as the employer, may also conveniently submit supporting documents related to your employees’ DI claims electronically. SDI Online is easy to use and available 24-hours a day. For more information and to establish an account, visit SDI Online.

On July 1, 2020, a new version of the Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) paper form will be available for order. At that time, consider removing all old PFL claims forms and ordering a new supply of the DE 2501F Rev. 4 (7-20) to provide the most up-to-date information to your employees. To order, visit EDD Forms and Publications or call 1-877-238-4373.

To improve EDD services for Spanish speaking California workers, the Department has added a fillable PFL Spanish claim form, the Solicitud de Beneficios del Programa de Permiso Familiar Pagado (PFL) (DE 2501F/S), to the EDD website. Employees can visit Paid Family Leave Forms and Publications to download and print the form.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about DI and PFL benefits, request a webinar presentation by contacting SDI at DIBOutreach@edd.ca.gov.