Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits eligibility

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

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Eligible types of leave

Paid family leave may be taken to:

  • Care for a sick family member
  • 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 injury or illness


You're covered by the PFML law if:

  • You're an employee working for a Massachusetts business or a state or federal governmental agency
  • You’re an independent 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:

  • Approximately 15 weeks or more of earnings
  • Earned at least $4,700 in the previous 12 months

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.

Additional Resources



DFML hours of operation: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., DOR hours of operation: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.