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How PFML weekly benefit amounts are calculated

Learn how Paid Family and Medical Leave uses your Individual Average Weekly Wage (IAWW) and the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) to determine your weekly benefit amount.

Table of Contents

Weekly benefit amount calculations

The weekly amount you are paid while on leave is determined by a formula incorporating two factors:

(1) Your Individual Average Weekly Wage (IAWW), and 

(2) The State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

Specifically, the portion of your IAWW that is equal to or less than 50% of the SAWW is replaced at a rate of 80%; and the portion of your IAWW that is more than 50% of the SAWW is replaced at a rate of 50%. This calculation is also subject to a cap that, in 2022, is 64% of the SAWW. For 2022, the new state average weekly wage is $1,694.24 and the new maximum weekly benefit rate is $1,084.31. 

These two factors – the IAWW and the SAWW – must be applied in distinct ways.

  • For calendar year 2022, the SAWW – and the corresponding figures, including the 50% threshold used to calculate the benefit rate and the maximum benefit cap – will apply to all new claims that start in calendar year 2022.  Leaves that start on or after January 1, 2022, may be eligible for up to $1,084.31 per week and must use 50% of the 2022 SAWW to calculate the benefit rate. 

  • To calculate benefits for leaves starting before January 1, 2022, use the 2021 SAWW to calculate the benefit rate and claimants may be eligible for a maximum benefit rate of up to $850 per week.  (A plan that pays more than these requirements will still be compliant) 

For calendar year 2022, although the SAWW will be determined based on the start date of a leave, the IAWW is calculated at the start of the benefit year and remains the same for all applications submitted during that benefit year. The benefit year is a period of 52 weeks rolling forward from the Sunday preceding the first absence from work for a qualifying leave reason. 

An individual is eligible for up to 12 weeks of family leave (or up to 26 weeks of family leave to care for an injured service member) and up to 20 weeks of medical leave, all subject to the 26 weeks combined maximum for all covered leave reasons during the course of a single benefit year.  

The four completed quarters before the start of the benefit year determine an employee’s IAWW: the IAWW is calculated based on the top two quarters of earnings divided by 26 weeks (or top one quarter of earnings divided by 13 weeks if two or fewer quarters have earnings reported).  Accordingly, if an employee starts a new application in January 2022, but they had previously initiated an application in July 2021, the second application would occur within the same benefit year as the first leave. The benefit rate for the January 2022 application must be calculated using the IAWW that was established at the beginning of the benefit year.

Date published: January 13, 2022