transcript  How to Appeal your PFML Decision

If you’ve received an email or letter denying your request for paid family or medical leave benefits, you can appeal the decision. 

An image of a DFML envelope appears, which turns, opens, and shows a letter with “PFML Decision Letter” written on top.  The letter is then stamped “Denied.” On-screen text reads: “You can appeal the decision”

Even if you have been approved, you may appeal any aspect of a decision, including the length of your leave or the amount of compensation you will receive.                                                               

The letter flips and shows “Length of Leave” and “Compensation You Will Receive” sections. The phrase “Length of Leave” and “Compensation You Will Receive” are then highlighted as the narrator mentions them.

If you submitted your application online, you can appeal at

A mockup of the application webpage with the PFML dashboard pops up and the spot to appeal is highlighted and a mouse comes to click.

If you filed over the phone, you can appeal by mail or fax.

On-screen text reads:

Mail: Department of Family and Medical Leave  

Attn: Claims Processing 

P.O. Box 838  

Lawrence, MA 01842

Fax: (617) 855-6180

Call with questions: (833) 344-7365

You must submit an appeal within ten days of receiving your DFML decision notice. 

On-screen text reads: “Must appeal within TEN days of receiving your notice” next to a calendar with 10 days highlighted.

If you miss the 10-day deadline, you can still ask for an appeal, but you will need to tell us that you missed the deadline for reasons beyond your control.

Image of Appeal your PFML decision screen is mocked up and words are being typed which read: “I would like to appeal my PFML decision. I missed the ten-day window because…”

After submitting your appeal, you will receive an email or letter notifying you that DFML has received it. 

A circle icon with an exclamation point appears to show an email has arrived. The notification is clicked and an email pops up with a notification that DFML has received your appeal.

DFML will then review your appeal.

An image of the DFML Appeal letter appears with a green magnifying glass examining it.

It is important to note that your appeal can be dismissed for different reasons, like your employer is exempt from PFML benefits.

On-screen text reads: “It is important to note that your appeal can be dismissed for different reasons, like your employer is exempt from offering PFML benefits”

Shortly after you appeal, we may reach out to you for additional information or documentation- so be on the lookout for any calls, letters, or emails from DFML. 

On-screen text reads: “DFML may reach out to you for additional information or documentation” A ringing cell phone with DFML caller id is shown in the background and a notification of a new email from DFML pops up as well.

DFML will make every attempt to resolve the appeal prior to a hearing.  If more information is needed, DFML will schedule a hearing. 

The phone rotates to a screen with a request popping up for a virtual DFML hearing.

When a hearing is scheduled, you will receive a DFML Notice of Hearing listing the date, time, and details of the hearing. 

An image of a mockup of Virtual Hearing request appears. The phrase “Hearing date” and “Hearing details” are highlighted as the narrator mentions them.

You will also get an email with details and a link to log in.

An image of a mockup of virtual hearing email appears with at the top.

You will be sent a reminder email 15 minutes before your hearing.

In the lower right corner of the email, a stopwatch appears with the text “15 minutes” in it and a green box underneath it with text that reads: “15 minutes until DFML Appeals Hearing.”

A hearing gives you the opportunity to present your case and submit any other documents that you think will be helpful.

An image of a virtual hearing zoom-type meeting with three people appears on a computer monitor screen, which then pans back to show an individual from the back with glasses and some pieces of paper sitting at a desk facing the screen.

After your hearing, you will receive your decision by email or mail, depending on how you submitted your appeal request. 

A mockup of a decision notice appears.

You will receive a written decision within 30 days of the conclusion of your hearing.

An image of a calendar with 30 days highlighted after “hearing” date appears.

If you disagree with your hearing’s decision, you have additional appeal rights at the district court where you live or work. 

On-screen text reads: “Any further appeal would be to a Massachusetts State District Court or to the Boston Municipal Court.”

Learn more about appealing your PFML denial or decision.

On-screen text reads: “DFML MA Department of Family and Medical Leave – Learn more about appealing your PFML denial or decision.”