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Avoid common issues that could delay your PFML application or payment

There are several missteps that could delay your application or payment. These guidelines can help you avoid common pitfalls.

Table of Contents

Before you begin your application

Talk to your employer

Work with your employer to schedule your leave. Give your employer at least 30 days' notice if you are applying for paid family or medical leave for a planned event like an elective surgery. If you are taking leave for an unexpected life event, you should tell your employer as soon as possible before starting your application for paid leave.

Prepare your documentation

When you apply for medical and family leave, you will need to provide some documents as part of your application.  The documents will vary depending on the type of leave you are taking. Here are some quick tips and a link to details on the required documents you will need for your PFML application.

  • Proof of your identity: Submit color copies of the front and back of your identification document and make sure all of the information is clear and easy to read. Do not fax your identification document. If you submit a black and white copy, or the image is not clear, the Department will need to reach out to you to get a clear color copy, resulting in longer processing times.  
  • Certifying a serious health condition for your family member or yourself:

Do not submit doctor’s notes. Discuss your leave with your health care provider or your family member’s health care provider. Fill out the certification form completely. Include how long and how often you expect to take leave. Ask your health care provider to sign the form.

As you work on your application

Do not use paid time off (PTO) for times when you are reporting leave hours

Do not put the dates for your Paid Family and Medical Leave as PTO. If you receive PTO and PFML benefits at the same time, your PFML payments could be reduced or canceled, depending on your leave schedule. You should not report PFML leave hours for the same times you are taking paid time off provided by your employer.

  • If you’re on a continuous leave schedule, you can use PTO benefits in a continuous block at the beginning or end of your leave. You cannot use PTO at any other time during your leave.

  • If you’re on a reduced leave schedule, you can only use PTO during the days when you are not receiving PFML benefits.

  • If you’re on an intermittent leave schedule, you cannot use PTO benefits on the dates when you reported needing PFML benefits.

You might lose PFML benefits if you use PTO benefits for the same time period. You could be required to pay back any overpayment of benefits.

Learn more about PTO and PFML.

Additional Resources

After your leave is approved

Working while receiving PFML benefits 

If you work while receiving PFML benefits, benefits could be reduced or stopped altogether, unless you are taking leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule. 

If you work outside of the schedule you set up with your employer or during reported intermittent hours,  you will not receive leave payments for that week.

  • During your leave, make sure to only work during the agreed-upon schedule or when you are not receiving PFML payments.

    • If you’re on a continuous leave schedule, you cannot work during any part of your leave.

    • If you’re on a reduced leave schedule, you can work during the schedule you set up with your employer. 

    • If you’re on an intermittent leave schedule, you cannot receive PFML payments for hours when you are working for your employer.

If you already started your leave

If you already started your leave but haven’t applied for PFML benefits, you can apply for benefits within 90 calendar days (counting weekends and any holidays) of when you started your leave. For example, if your leave begins on January 1 and ends in February 28, you must complete your application before April 1.

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