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How other leave and benefits can affect your Paid Family and Medical Leave

Your paid leave benefits could be affected by other government or private benefit programs and result in reductions.

The amount you receive in paid leave benefits and the total amount of leave you are eligible to take may be reduced by any wage replacement or disability program that you are currently enrolled in or have used in the past, either through the government or through your employer. Talk to your employer directly about questions regarding any private benefit plans they offer. 

For specific programs and scenarios, see below.

Table of Contents

Unemployment insurance

If you qualify for both unemployment benefits and paid leave, the amount in paid leave benefits that you are eligible for will be reduced by any unemployment benefits you collect during your leave. Any unemployment benefits collected prior to your family or medical leave beginning will not affect your paid leave benefit amount.

Worker’s compensation

If you are making a claim for paid leave and worker’s compensation about the same injury or incident that you are requesting to take paid leave for, the amount you receive in paid leave benefits may be reduced by the amount you receive in weekly worker’s compensation wage replacement benefits.

If the workplace injury you’re receiving worker’s compensation benefits for occurred prior to your paid leave claim, OR if the 2 incidents are independent of each other, you may be able to receive both without any reduction in your paid leave benefits.

Social Security programs

If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), you may be eligible to take paid family or medical leave, but the amount of benefits you are eligible for may be reduced. You must report any supplemental income you receive during your paid leave application.

Temporary Disability or paid family and medical leave benefits through your employer

You can receive payments from some kinds of disability and paid family and medical leave policies through your employer while you are receiving PFML benefits from the Department. Your PFML benefits will only be reduced if the total amount you receive from both payments is greater than your average weekly wage.

Sick time through your employer

You may not receive paid family or medical leave benefits and use paid sick time through your employer at the same time. If you choose to use employer sick time while you are taking paid leave, your approved benefit amount may be reduced in order to offset benefits.

Paid time off through your employer

Some employers offer paid earned time off (PTO). This includes PTO or vacation days, sick days, and personal time. You cannot use accrued paid leave on the same days that you are receiving paid benefits from PFML. It is important to communicate to both your employer and DFML as to when you plan to use your accrued paid leave while you need to be out of work. Here is what that means over the course of your paid leave from PFML:

At the beginning of your paid leave from PFML

When your PFML leave begins, there is a 7-day waiting period before PFML payments start. You will be on job-protected leave, but you will not receive benefit payments from the Department. During this 7-day waiting period, you can use accrued paid leave from your employer with no impact to your PFML benefits. This can be helpful if you want to avoid an unpaid week.

For example:

James is taking 10 weeks of medical leave to recover from surgery. Under PFML, the first week (or the 7-day waiting period) is unpaid so he is eligible to receive 9 weeks of paid benefits (partial salary replacement) from DFML.  If James chooses to use his PTO at the beginning of his leave during the 7-day waiting period, he will receive his full salary during the waiting week without any impact on the total payments he receives from DFML.

In the middle of your paid leave from PFML: using PTO during a continuous leave schedule

If you are taking continuous paid leave from PFML, you can only use PTO in a single, continuous block of time at either the start or end of your leave. Using accrued paid leave after the first seven days can cause your PFML benefit payments to be reduced to $0. You will need to re-apply to receive PFML benefit payments again.

In the middle of your paid leave from PFML: using PTO during an intermittent or reduced leave schedule

If you are on a reduced leave schedule or are taking intermittent leave, there will be days you are still scheduled to work during your PFML leave. If you need to take time off for an unrelated reason on those days, you can use accrued paid time off from your employer.

For example, if you are taking a vacation or going to court; this will not stop your PFML benefits. In addition, if you take vacation or leave not associated with your qualifying PFML leave, you don’t need to report the time to the department.

At the end of your paid leave from PFML

You can use accrued paid time off at the end of your paid leave from PFML. Your PFML benefits will stop.

For example:

Mark is taking 7 weeks of leave to care for his domestic partner while he is recovering from a broken ankle. In order to extend his leave to 8 weeks, he chooses to use 1 week of sick time at the end of his leave. His PFML benefits will have stopped and this will not affect his payments from the Department. However, he will need to okay the longer leave schedule with his employer.

Working for your employer while receiving PFML benefits

During the time period(s) when you are receiving Paid Family or Medical Leave benefits, you cannot work for the employer from whom you are receiving benefits, unless you are approved to take leave on a intermittent or reduced schedule and only then during the approved days/hours.

Working during your approved leave outside of the agreed upon schedule will result in the loss of your leave payments for that week.

For example:

Conan applied and was approved for 8 weeks leave on a reduced schedule where he took leave 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). On the third week of leave, his employer asked him to come in and work on Wednesday of that week. Conan worked that Wednesday and reported it as part of his weekly report to PFML. As a result, he was not paid any payments for his medical leave that week. If a payment had already been issued, the next payment will be adjusted to reflect the deduction.

School breaks/vacation time for educators

For eligible educators, paid family and medical leave benefits will not be paid during school break/vacation periods because teachers are not scheduled to work during these timeframes. Accordingly, if the break/vacation time occurs during a planned leave, it will not count against an educator's leave allotment.

Educators will need to report this as part of their application and when discussing their leave schedule with their employer.

Contact

Phone

For questions about benefits and eligibility: (833) 344-7365

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

Fraud Reporting Hotline: (857) 366-7201

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

For questions about contributions and exemptions: (617) 466-3950

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

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