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Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits

To be eligible for benefits under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law, you must meet certain employment and earnings requirements.

Table of Contents

Eligible types of leave

Paid family leave may be taken to:

  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Bond with a newborn child
  • Bond with a child after adoption or foster care placement
  • Manage family affairs when a family member is on active duty in the armed forces

Paid medical leave may be taken to:

  • Manage a personal serious health condition

Your family members, for the purposes of PFML benefits, include your spouse, domestic partner, child, parent or parent of a spouse or domestic partner; a person who stood in loco parentis when you were a minor; or a grandchild, grandparent or sibling. 

A “serious health condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves receiving care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider.


You're covered by the PFML law if:

  • You're an employee working for a Massachusetts business or a state agency
  • You’re a contractor who contracts with a business that issues 1099-MISC tax forms for more than 50% of its workforce
  • Your employer doesn't offer a private paid leave plan with benefits that are equal to or greater than the state's coverage

If you've been unemployed for up to 26 weeks, you may be eligible for PFML benefits.

Earnings requirements

Additionally, there is an earnings eligibility requirement for any individual who wants to take paid leave under the law. Before applying for benefits, you must have:

  • Earned at least $5,100 in the last 12 months
  • The amount you earned must be at least 30 times more than how much you will get each week from your benefits

Optional self-employed coverage

As a self-employed individual, you may elect coverage under the state's PFML program. If you do so, you will be responsible for paying the full 0.75% percent contribution rate for both family and medical leave. Once you've elected coverage, you won't be eligible for benefits until you've made the required contributions for at least 2 of your last 4 completed calendar quarters.

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