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

Benefits from other government or employer private leave programs may reduce your paid leave benefit amount and the total amount of leave you’re eligible to take.

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

Unemployment benefits you get during your leave will reduce your paid leave benefit amount. Unemployment benefits you got before your leave started won’t affect your paid leave benefits. 

Worker’s compensation

Workers’ compensation benefits may reduce your paid leave benefit amount if both claims are about the same injury. 

You may be able to receive both workers’ compensation and paid leave benefits if you are receiving workers’ compensation because of an earlier work-related injury that is permanent but that still allows you to work at least some of the time.

Social Security programs

You may be eligible to take paid leave if you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). You must report this income when you apply for paid leave, and it may reduce your benefit amount.

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

You can receive payments from some disability or paid leave policies through your employer at the same time your receive Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) benefits. Your PFML benefits will only be reduced if the total you receive from both payments is greater than your average weekly wage. 

Paid time off through your employer

Most employers offer paid time off (PTO). This includes vacation days, sick days, and personal time. You cannot use paid time off on the same days you receive PFML benefits. Here is what that means during your PFML leave:

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. You can use employer paid time off during this waiting period and it won't affect your PFML benefits. This can be helpful if you want to avoid an unpaid week. Do not report PTO during your waiting week when applying.

For example:

James is taking 10 weeks of medical leave to recover from surgery. Under PFML, the first week is unpaid so he is eligible to receive 9 weeks of PFML benefits.  If James chooses to use his paid time off at the beginning of his leave, he may receive his full salary during the 7-day waiting period and it won’t affect the total PFML payments he receives.

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

If you are taking continuous Paid Family and Medical Leave, you can only use paid time off in a single block of time, either at the start or end of your leave. Taking paid time off after the first 7 days of your leave may reduce your PFML payments to $0. You may need to reapply to receive PFML payments again.

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

If you're taking reduced or intermittent leave, there will be days you're scheduled to work. If you need to take time off for an unrelated reason on those days, you can use employer paid time off.  

For example, if you are taking a vacation or going to court, this will not stop your PFML benefits. If you take time off unrelated to your 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 paid time off at the end of your PFML leave. 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. 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.  

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Income received through a bonus, like a holiday bonus or an annual sum paid out at the end of the year, will not cause a reduction in your benefits for the week in which it is paid. You should not report bonuses to the Department in your application or when reporting other income received during your leave.

Working for your employer while receiving PFML benefits

You can’t work for your employer if you’re receiving PFML benefits unless you are taking leave on a intermittent or reduced schedule. 

If you work outside of the agreed upon schedule, you’ll lose your leave payments for that week. 

For example:

Conan was approved for 8 weeks medical 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 work on Wednesday. Conan worked that Wednesday and reported it as part of his weekly report to PFML. As a result, he was not paid for his medical leave that week. If a payment had already been issued, the next payment would be adjusted. 

When school is not in session for educators and teachers

Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits will not be paid when school is not in session. If the planned leave is scheduled during a school break, it won't count against the teacher’s or educator’s total weeks of leave.  

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



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.