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This page, Your eligibility for paid family and medical leave (PFML), is offered by

Your eligibility for paid family and medical leave (PFML)

Learn if you are eligible for PFML benefits.

Table of Contents

General eligibility

Generally, PFML coverage is available to all W-2 workers who work in Massachusetts, whether full-time, part-time, or seasonal, as well as some 1099-MISC contractors. If you have questions about your PFML eligibility, ask your employer.

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 receives a 1099-MISC tax form from a business that issues 1099-MISC tax forms to more than 50% of its workforce

  • Your employer doesn't have a private paid leave plan that has been approved by the Department of Family and Medial Leave because it provides benefits that are equal to or greater than the state's coverage

  • You’re a former employee who has been unemployed for 26 weeks or fewer

Additional Resources

Employment excluded from Eligibility

Municipalities, districts, political subdivisions, housing authorities, regional school districts, and regional planning commissions are types of employers that are excluded from PFML eligibility, but may opt in through a vote of their governing body or committee. Charter schools are not considered municipality employment, and therefore are not excluded from PFML eligibility.

Additionally, certain types of work are automatically excluded from PFML, including:

  • Work performed for a son, daughter, or spouse 

  • If under 18, work performed for one’s father or mother 

  • Work performed by inmates of penal institutions 

  • Independent contractors as defined by this three-part test

  • Employment in the railroad industry 

  • Work provided by real estate brokers/salespeople and insurance agents/solicitors in commission only jobs

  • Newspaper sales and delivery by persons under 18 

  • Employment by churches and certain religious organizations 

  • Work done by work-study students, student nurses and interns, or those in work trainee programs administered by non-profit or public institutions

If your Massachusetts employer offers a private paid leave plan with benefits that match or exceed those in the state's PFML program, and they have been given an exemption, you will be covered by your employer's plan instead.

Ask your employer to find out if they are exempt from PFML, or are offering an exempted plan.

Earnings requirement

Covered individuals must also meet an earnings requirement to be eligible for benefits. Before applying for benefits, you must have earned at least:

  • $5,400 during the last 4 completed calendar quarters, and

  • At least 30 times more than how much you would be eligible to get each week from your Paid Family Medical Leave benefits

Opting in if you are self-employed

If you are a 1099-MISC worker for a business that does not cover contractors for PFML because 1099-MISC workers make up less than 50% of the business’s workforce, you can choose to opt-in to the PFML program through MassTaxConnect.

Your PFML enrollment will begin on the date you opt-in through MassTaxConnect. Once enrolled in the program, you'll be required to remain enrolled for at least 3 years. During this time, you'll be required to file quarterly earnings reports and submit the full quarterly contribution payments for both family and medical leave based on your earnings.

To be eligible for benefits, you will have to:

  • Have earned $5,400 during the last 4 completed calendar quarters, and at least 30 times more than how much you would be eligible to get each week from your Paid Family Medical Leave benefits

  • Pay the full 0.75% contribution rate for both family and medical leave for at least 2 of your last 4 completed calendar quarters before claiming benefits

    • This rate adjusts annually

If you own a business and pay yourself through a W-2, you don’t need to opt-in because you are considered an employee of the business and will already be a part of the PFML program.

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.

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

Department of Revenue - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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