Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave

Starting January 1, 2020, most working Washingtonian's will be eligible for benefits through the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML), a new state-run benefit program that allows you to take paid time off for your own medical condition, to care of a family member, or to bond with a child.

You are eligible for PFML if you are a non-bargaining employee, have worked 820 hours for a WA employer, and are experiencing a qualifying event. Complete the eligibility checklist to find out for sure!

*** NOTE ***

Bargaining employees will be eligible April 1, 2020 when the new CBA commences.

PFML covers two types of leave: Medical Leave (your own serious health condition AND Family Leave (your family member's serious health condition or to bond with a child)

How much time can I take?

You can take up to 12 weeks for medical OR family leave, 16 weeks for medical AND family leave, and 18 weeks in cases related to complications in pregnancy.

How much do I get paid?

Depends on how much you make. The State has developed a complicated formula, capped at $1,000 per week. Use the PFML calculator to estimate your weekly benefit.

Will my benefits continue while using PFML?

SOME benefits, such as your medical, dental, vision, life and disability insurance will continue, while benefits such as personal leave accrual will not.

How do I apply?

ONLINE at paidleave.wa.gov. After creating an account and filing your initial claim, you will have to file weekly claims to continue receiving a benefit through PFML.

More Questions?

​Your Own Health Condition  

If you miss work due to your own serious health condition, or if your leave is pregnancy related, you will have two options come January 1:

  1. File a claim with the State and receive a benefit through PFML as explained above OR
  2. File a short-term disability claim with your friendly HR department.

Here is a refresher on your short-term disability benefit:

  • After a 40-hour waiting period, you can take up to 26 concurrent weeks of disability leave.
  • You get paid 70% of your regular earnings and you can supplement with Personal Leave to receive 100% of your pay while on disability leave.
  • Your benefits, including personal leave accrual will continue while you are out.

Watch this short video "Short Term Disability and PFML" to find out how your short term disability benefit compares to PFML.

Caring for a Family Member or Bonding with a Child

If you miss work to take care of a seriously ill family member, or to bond with a child, you can:

  1. File a claim with the State and receive a benefit through PFML as explained above OR
  2. Request to take accrued leave. Accrued leave, such as personal leave, is intended to provide you paid time off for rest and recreation, illness, injury, child care, bereavement, personal business and any other approved absence from work.

For more information about PFML visit paidleave.wa.gov.