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Appealing a paid family or medical leave decision

Learn how to appeal a decision about your Paid Family and Medical Leave application.

Department of Family and Medical Leave

Phone

Get answers to your questions in English, Español, and Português. Translation services for up to 240+ languages are also available. Call Department of Family and Medical Leave, Get answers to your questions in English, Español, and Português. Translation services for up to 240+ languages are also available. at (833) 344-7365

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Department of Revenue - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Details of Appealing a paid family or medical leave decision

What you need for Appealing a paid family or medical leave decision

The Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) usually makes a decision within fourteen (14) days of receiving your completed application. You must appeal a decision about your Paid Family and Medical Leave application within ten (10) calendar days of receiving a notice about the decision.

If you submitted your application online, you can appeal at paidleave.mass.gov. Otherwise, an appeal request can be submitted using the Request an appeal for Paid Family and Medical Leave form or by mail or fax.

Note: If you received a denial for paid leave from a private carrier, you must first appeal with them. If they deny your appeal, you can then use the Request an appeal for Paid Family and Medical Leave form to appeal that denial.

If your application was denied because DFML cannot confirm the relationship between you and your family member for an application for family leave benefits, please send us either a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, a relevant court document, or this affidavit.

You may appeal any aspect of a decision. You may be asked to provide additional information to support your appeal.

As part of your appeal, you may request a hearing. Hearings will be virtual, and may be attended using a computer or smartphone. Review our virtual hearings guide. If approved for a hearing you will receive a notice listing the date, time, and details of the hearing. You should test your system and ensure that you will be able to access the hearing at least 48 hours before your hearing starts.

  • Gather any documents that you need to prove your case. Depending on the issue in your case, you might need:
    • Identity documents, including your driver’s license or state ID, passport, and social security card;
    • Wage records, including 1099-MISC forms, pay stubs, and bank statements;
    • Attendance or personnel records;
    • Certification of Serious Health Condition; or
    • Other evidence relevant to your leave request under appeal.

Here's a complete list of required documents.

If you plan to have witnesses testify on your behalf, you should identify and contact them as early as possible to request their participation at the hearing, and have them test their system as well to ensure that they will be able to access the virtual hearing.

How to appeal Appealing a paid family or medical leave decision

If you submitted your application online, submit an appeal at paidleave.mass.gov. Otherwise, an appeal request can be submitted using the Request an appeal for Paid Family and Medical Leave form.

Complete the Appeal Request Information form that was mailed to you with your Notice of Denial.

If you do send us documents, please send copies of the documents necessary to support your appeal, do not send the Department original documents - they will not be returned to you. 

Please make sure to write or type your application ID number in the top left corner of each page mailed or faxed to the Department. Your application ID is located on all notices you receive from the Department or when you log in to your PFML account. Providing your application ID will help match the documents you send us with your application. 

Documents can be mailed to the Department at this address:

Department of Family and Medical Leave  
Attn: Claims Processing 
P.O. Box 838  
Lawrence, MA 01842

Complete the Appeal Request Information form that was mailed to you with your Notice of Denial.

Documents can be faxed to the Department at (617) 855-6180. 

Please make sure to write or type your application ID number in the top left corner of each page mailed or faxed to the Department. Your application ID is located on all notices you receive from the Department or when you log in to your account on paidleave.mass.gov. Providing your application ID will help match the documents you send us with your application. 

More info for Appealing a paid family or medical leave decision

If you miss the 10 day deadline to file your appeal

If you miss the deadline, you may still ask for an appeal but you must communicate on the form that you missed the deadline for reasons beyond your control. The Department will review your request and decide if there was a valid reason (good cause) for the delay. If you had a valid reason, we will approve your request and give you a hearing date. Otherwise, we will deny your request for the appeal, and you will have the right to appeal that denial.

Download a summary of the appeals timeline (PDF)

You have the right to have a lawyer.

Although such representation is not required, any party may be represented at the hearing by counsel or agent. If you desire counsel and are unable to engage one in private practice, you may meet the criteria for obtaining assistance visit here for further information regarding free legal services.

If you want to be represented at your hearing, you should find an attorney or representative right away. Once the hearing is scheduled a postponement will not be granted to allow you time to find an attorney.

If you have an attorney or a representative who will be participating in the virtual hearing on your behalf, please call the DFML Appeals Department at (617) 988-3223 as soon as possible to get them registered.

If you wish to further appeal the Department’s decision on your initial appeal

After the Department has reached a final determination on your appeal, you may choose to further appeal by filing a complaint in court in the district where you live or work. You must file your complaint within 30 days of the Department reaching a decision.

Important note

The information presented on this site is not legal advice. It should not replace advice from a lawyer. Reference to any specific organizations, attorneys, law firms, corporations, or websites does not constitute DFML's endorsement or recommendation.

Contact for Appealing a paid family or medical leave decision

Phone
Get answers to your questions in English, Español, and Português. Translation services for up to 240+ languages are also available. Call Department of Family and Medical Leave, Get answers to your questions in English, Español, and Português. Translation services for up to 240+ languages are also available. at (833) 344-7365

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Department of Revenue - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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