HARTFORD, Conn — Funding for Connecticut’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) is now underway. Benefits are set to begin in January 2022.
According to the CT Paid Leave Authority, the program was created to give working family members across the state the opportunity to take time off from work to tend to personal and family needs, without having to worry about lost income.
But will it apply to you? How will it affect you? What can you expect?
Andrea Barton Reeves, CEO of the CT Paid Leave Authority took the time to answer some common questions.
Who is contributing to the fund?
We’re all paying into the program, with a few exemptions. Some state employees who are unionized can vote to participate. Municipalities and local and regional boards of education are generally exempt from participating unless their unions choose to participate and most private and independent schools are also exempt.
How much are we contributing?
Every employer that has one or more employees must take one-half of 1% of pay, at whatever frequency that pay is, and contribute to what is known as the paid leave trust fund.
Who is eligible for benefits?
There are very few restrictions when it comes to eligibility. You have to earn about $2,325 in the highest part of a 15-month period right before the time you apply for leave and you have to have worked 12 weeks on or right before you apply for leave if you’ve lost your job, or you have to be currently employed.
That dollar amount doesn’t have to come from one employer and there is no hours-worked requirement. The eligibility criteria is designed to make the program easily accessible and it’s there for a variety of life events.
Which life event(s) qualifies for benefits?
Your own serious health condition, which can be any kind of major surgery, or something your doctor defines as a serious health condition, or that of a family member.
You can use it to create or expand your family through birth, adoption, or foster care.
You can take it to become an organ or bone marrow donor.
You can also take it to care for a family member who has been injured during active duty.
Something that’s unique to Connecticut’s law is that if you are a victim of family violence, you can take up to 12 days of leave.
How are benefit amounts calculated?
Benefit amounts are calculated based on income. Most people will end up at about 70-75% of their pay. You do end up getting a little bit less the more you make.
When will the CT Paid Authority begin to accept applications for benefits?
Where can the public access more information about the program?