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Guide What is Paid Family and Medical Leave?

If you work in Massachusetts and you need time off to care for yourself and your family, Paid Family and Medical Leave gives you up to 26 weeks of paid time off in a benefit year.

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What is paid family and medical leave?

Paid family and medical leave (PFML) is a Commonwealth program designed to give Massachusetts workers the resources to manage their own health and the health of their family.

PFML benefits can start being taken in January of 2021.

Who can apply?

You are eligible to take paid family and medical leave if you:

  • You need to take time off for a serious health condition
  • You work in Massachusetts
  • Your employer is contributing to the program on your behalf

Learn more about specific types of PFML eligibility, or ask your employer if you are eligible.

How can I apply for paid leave Massachusetts benefits?

You can start applying for and taking most PFML benefits in January of 2021

  • If your leave starts within 60 days, submit an application (in an emergency or unexpected situation, you can submit after the fact.)
  • Your employer and the Commonwealth verify the information you submit in your application
  • The Commonwealth reviews your application and your medical provider’s recommendation
  • The Commonwealth determines the appropriate length of leave and your benefit amount
  • If your application is approved, you will receive benefit payments while you are on leave

Key Actions for How can I apply for paid leave Massachusetts benefits?

What will I need to get started?

As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide:

  • Proof of ID like a driver’s license or state ID (a physical document you can scan and upload)
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • The reason why you are taking leave
  • Information from your healthcare provider about the serious medical condition you or your family member is experiencing
  • Your employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • The date when you are planning to take leave, or when your leave started
  • Your bank account information



PFML benefits are funded by a payroll or earnings contribution on every dollar of wages or payment for services earned by a worker who is covered by the program. 

For every $100 you earn, a maximum of $0.38 will be deducted for the covered contribution share. This will consist of: 

  • $0.13 to cover your family leave contribution 

  • $0.25 to cover your medical leave contribution 

The maximum amount of earnings subject to these contribution rates in 2020 is $137,700 annually for each worker covered by the program.