Single Moms Should Know About EDD Paid Family Leave

Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Lori Pace

EDD Paid Family Leave (PFL), which provides benefits to those who have to be away from work for:

  • Take care of a family member who is seriously ill.
  • Bond with your new child.
  • Participate in a qualifying activity because of the military deployment of a family member.

You may be eligible to receive benefits payments up to eight weeks if you are eligible. The payments are approximately 60 to 70% of the weekly wages you earned between 5 and 18 months prior to your claim date. Payments will be made by check or debit card.

PFL does not provide job protection but benefits payments. Other laws may protect your job, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act.

EDD Paid Family Leave for Caregivers

You can learn more about Paid Family Leave (PFL) if you have recently taken on the role of caregiver for a family member who is seriously ill.

Requirements for Eligibility

Requirements for Eligibility Form

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for PFL benefits payments:

  • You can be a caregiver for a family member who is seriously ill. You can be a caregiver for a parent, child, sibling, grandparent, parent-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, grandchild, spouse, or registered domestic partner.
    • Notice: Benefit payments are not available for more than one caregiver. However, you will only be eligible for benefits for the time you are the primary caregiver.
  • In the last 5 to 18 month, you have paid into State Disability Insurance (noticed on most paystubs as “CASDI”)
  • In the last 12 months, you have not taken more than eight weeks of PFL.

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for PFL benefits:

  • You are unable to perform your usual or customary work.
  • Are you unable to work because of the:
    • Take care of a family member who is seriously ill
    • Bond with your new child
    • Participate in a qualifying activity that results from a family member’s deployment to a foreign nation. Visit Paid Family Leave – Military Assist for more information on the eligibility requirements of military family members.
  • Be working or looking for work when your family leaves.
  • You have earned at least $300 during the base period from which State Disability Insurance deductions (SDI), were withheld. Learn more about Calculating Paid Leave Benefit Payment Amounts.
  • You must complete and submit the claim form within 41 days of your family leave beginning. Otherwise, you could lose your benefits.
  • As required, provide supporting documentation
    • You must attach a medical certificate to your claim for care for a seriously ill relative. The certificate must be completed by the care recipient’s physician/practitioner.
      • A physician assistant or nurse practitioner may be able to certify that the patient requires care. However, they will need to perform a physical exam and work with a doctor or surgeon.
      • You can download the Practitioner’s Certification for Paid Family (PFL) Benefits (DE2502F) if the care recipient is under the supervision of an accredited religious practitioner (PDF).
    • Bonding claims require proof of relationship.
    • You must prove the qualifying event to be eligible for military assistance.

Additional Information about EDD Paid Family Leave

  • Eligibility is not affected by citizenship or immigration status.
  • Your employer will be notified of your submission of a PFL request. Your employer will be notified that you have submitted a PFL claim. However, your employer will not receive the care recipient’s confidential medical information.
  • An extremely serious condition in your health means:
    • Illness
    • Injury
    • A condition that causes impairment or mental or physical disability in a patient, such as inability to work or other daily activities.
    • Inpatient care at a hospital, hospice or residential medical facility, and any subsequent treatment.
    • Continuing treatment by a physician/practitioner.

Cosmetic treatments, the common cold and influenza, as well as upset stomachs, minor ulcers, headaches other than migraines, do not qualify for the serious health condition definition.

  • To determine whether you are eligible for continuing or initial care, a medical exam may be necessary.
  • PFL benefits are not available to school employees who receive full wages, or during school breaks, unless they work an additional job during school breaks for extra income. For more information, contact DI

Additional Documents To Provide

These additional documents are a requirement to complete your claim if you have submitted your PFL Bonding and Care claim via SDI Online. These documents can be submitted electronically through SDI Online. You can scan them and upload them to your claim, or you can mail them.

You will need to send supporting documentation if you are filing a claim via postal mail. The EDD will not process your claim if your form is incomplete or we do not have all necessary documents.

Documents to support Bonding Claims

New Mothers

No additional documents are required if you are transitioning from an existing pregnancy-related disability case.

All Other New Parents

If a mother is not claiming a pregnancy-related disability, the new father, foster or adoptive parents, or both, must complete sections 1 through 5 of the SDI Online bonding form and submit a Proof of Relationship. This document can be used as an example:

  • Birth certificate for child
  • Certificate of Birth from Child’s Hospital
  • Declaration of Paternity (CS-909)
  • Foster Care Placement Record (SOC-815)
  • Official letter from the foster-care agency
  • Adoptive Placement Agreement (AD-907)
  • Independent Adoption Placement Agreement (AD-924)
  • Additional evidence to support a relationship

Documents to Support Care Claims

After you have completed sections 1 through 5, you will need to provide the following:

  • Part C – Statement by Care Recipient, signed either by the care recipient themselves or their authorized representative.
  • Part D – Physician/Practitioner’s Certification completed and signed by the care recipient’s licensed health professional. You can either have them sign and submit the certification online (only if filed online), or they can complete the paper form. It is up to you to ensure that the certified health professional signs and submits the form to the EDD.

You will see a link to the Claim for Paid Family Leave, (DE 2501FC), form on your confirmation screen. This PDF can be printed and completed by each party. You can also download the DE 2501FC form Paid Family Allow Forms and Publications.

Documents to support Military Assist Claims

After you have completed sections 1 through 6, you will need to provide the following:

Documentation support for military use, which could include:
  • Orders for active duty covered.
  • Lettered order or letter of impending call to active duty.
  • The approving authority must sign the documentation of the military member’s rest or recuperation.
Additional Documents To Provide for EDD Family Paid Leave
Documentation for military use.
Other documentation required for qualifying events, which could include:
  • For informational briefings, a copy of the meeting announcement sponsored by the military.
  • A bill for services in the management of financial or legal affairs.
  • A letter containing detailed information (location, reason for meeting, contact information) about the meeting with a third-party.
You must scan the additional documents and save them to your computer as PDFs or JPGs. Then:
  1. From the main menu of your SDI Online home page, select New Claim.
  2. Select Submit Electronic Paid Military Assist Attachment or Submit Electronic Family Bonding Attachment.
  3. Click Browse to attach your documents.
  4. To complete the process, click on Submit.

You can choose to send your attachments by mail instead of uploading them. Use the address listed under Mail on your Confirmation Information screen.

How to file a EDD Paid Family Leave Claim in SDI Online

To file a claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL), you must first determine if you are eligible. The SDI Online is the fastest and most convenient way to file a PFL claim.

Step 1: Gather The Information You’ll Need

  • California Driver License (CDL), or Identification (ID), card number.
  • Your full legal name as it appears in your ID or CDL.
  • Your date of birth, as indicated on your ID or CDL.
  • Social security number
  • The most current employer’s name, phone number and mailing address are listed on your W-2 or paystub.
  • The date that you last worked your normal or expected duties or the date you started working less than fully or modified duty.

Notification: If you don’t have a CDL/ID, you will need to file for PFL via mail. If applicable, you must also provide the following information:

  • All wages that you expect or received from your employer (sick time, paid vacation leave, annual leave, vacation pay)
  • Information about workers’ compensation claims
  • For bonding claims, proof of relationship is required.
  • Statement of care recipient and licensure as a health professional for care claims
  • Documentation for military assistance is required.

Step 2: Register and Create an Account

Register for a Benefits Programs Online Account

You must first create a benefit programs online (BPO) account before you can use SDI Online. To change the language to Spanish on all pages, click En espanol from the BPO login page. Register through this website.

BPO is accessible 24 hours a day. You are not finished once you have registered on BPO. An email will be sent to you to confirm your account and include a link. To complete your registration, click the link. The link will expire in 48 hours for security reasons. This message will expire within 48 hours. Check your junk mail or spam folder if you do not receive it.

Register for SDI Online

  • Log in to BPO and then choose SDI Online. The next screen will take you to the SDI Online Registration Options. Before you can create or use an SDI Online account, you will need to verify your identity through ID.
  • After completing the registration, you will receive an EDD Customer Number. A confirmation email and postal mail will be sent to you.

Step 3: file your pfl claim online

  1. Log in to your BPO Account.
  2. Choose SDI Online.
  3. Choose a New Claim
  4. To complete the form, select Paid Family Care Bonding, Paid Military Leave Care or Paid family Leave Military Assist. Follow the steps in each section.
  5. For accuracy, please review the completed forms.
  6. Click on Submit to send the completed sections of your SDI Online application directly to the EDD.
  7. Keep the receipt number found on the confirmation page. If this is a PFL care claim, provide this number to the care recipient’s physician/practitioner.

Notice: After your Disability Insurance claim has ended, you will receive the Claim for Paid Family Benefits (PFL) Benefits – New Mother form.

This time frame is required for your PFL claim to be submitted:

  • You must file your claim within one day of your family’s return.
  • To avoid disqualification, you must file your claim within 41 days of your family leave.
  • You should not submit the same claim multiple times. This can delay the processing of your claim.

Step 4: Submission of your pfl claim

Once all required sections have been received, your claim will not be processed. We will notify you about the status of your claim. For more information about how to file an online claim through SDI Online, please review the SDI Online Claimant tutorial. Your employer will be notified of your submission of a PFL request. Your employer will not receive any medical information.

How to file a EDD Paid Family Leave Allowance (PFL) Claim via Mail

You can file a Paid Family Leave claim (PFL), by mail. Complete and submit the Claim for Paid Family Leave Benefits (DE 2501F). To properly submit a PFL claim by mail, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Get Your Claim Form

A paper Claim for Paid Family Leave Benefits (DE 2501F form) can be obtained by:

  • You can order online and have it sent to you within ten working days.
  • Get the form from your employer or licensed health professional.
  • Visit an SDI Office.
  • To request a paper copy of the form, call 1-877-238-4373 California Relay Service (711): Provide your PFL number (1-1-877-238-4373)

Transitioning from a Disability insurance (DI-related pregnancy claim) to bonding: Once you are fully recovered, a Claim For Paid Family Leave (PFL), Benefits – New Mom (DE 2501FP), will automatically be mailed to your address in a separate envelope. This is done at the same time as your final disability payment.

Step 2: Gather The Information You’ll Need

To file a PFL claim, you must fill out the following information:

  • Last and first names
  • The most current employer’s name, phone number and mailing address are listed on your W-2 or paystub.
  • Date you last worked your regular duties or hours, or the date that you started working on modified duty or less than full-time duty.

Only provide the following information if it applies to your situation:

  • All wages that you expect or received from your employer (sick, vacation, paid-time off [PTO], annual leave and wages earned after stopping working).

Step 3: Mail The Completed Claim Form For EDD Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits (DE 2501F).

Send the completed claim form in a pre-addressed envelope and mail it to:

California State
Employment Development Department
P.O. Box 989315
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9315

Avoid any delays by filling out the paper form:

  • Only use black ink
  • Use the provided boxes to type or write clearly.
  • All information requested
  • Only fill out Part A – Statement Of Claimant, and the appropriate section to bond, care or military assistance.
  • Do not complete any portion of the DE 2501F Part D – Physician/Practitioner’s Certificate.
  • When a properly completed application is complete, it will contain:
    • Parts A, B, as well as supporting documents are required for bonding.
    • Parts A, C, & D are available for care.
    • Parts A, E and supporting documents are required for military assistance.
  • Sign your form.
  • You should stamp the envelope.
  • You must mail your claim within 41 days of your family leave beginning. Otherwise, you could lose your benefits.
  • Do not submit duplicates for the same claim. This can delay the processing of your claim

Notification to your employer that you have filed a PFL will be sent. However, all medical information will remain confidential and will not go out to your employer.

Claim Process for EDD Paid Family Leave

Claim Process for EDD Paid Family Leave

Paid Family Time (PFL), provides short-term wage replacement benefits for eligible California workers who are unable to work because of family leave.

Step 1: Review your Eligibility

To be eligible for PFL benefits, you must be eligible. These are some of the requirements:

  • You are unable to perform your usual and customary work due to the care of a family member who is eligible for military service to a foreign nation.
  • Loss of wages because of the need to take family leave.
  • Having a job or actively seeking work when your family leaves.

Step 2: File your claim

To file for PFL benefits , you have two options. You can either file your claim online using SDI, or you can submit a Claim For Paid Family Leave (PFL), by mail.

Your Claim Start Date

Your claim can start on the first day that you are unable to work because of your family leave. After establishing a valid claim, you cannot change the claim’s beginning date or adjust a basis period. If you have a valid claim, it means that there are wages in your base period. Before you file your claim, please contact PFL at 1-877-238-4373 if you have any questions.

These are the requirements to submit your claim:

  • Do not file earlier than the day your family leaves.
  • To avoid losing your benefits, you must file no later than 41 calendar days after the beginning of your family leave.

Notice: Military assistance family leave claims can be filed on or after the date that your military family member was notified about the active duty.

Step 3: The EDD Determines Eligibility

The EDD will usually determine eligibility in 14 days after receiving a completed claim application. They will mail you the Notice of Computation, DE 429DF to inform you of your weekly benefit amount. It is based on your wages earned during your base period. This notice does not confirm your eligibility to receive PFL benefits.

Eligible for Benefits

Eligible for Benefits
EDD Determines Eligibility?

You will receive an Electronic Benefit Payment Notice (DE 2500E) if you are eligible for benefits. You have the option to choose whether you want your benefits via debit card or check when you file your claim.

  • Debit card: All authorized benefit payments will be deposited onto a debit card if you select this option. For more information, visit Debit Card.
  • EDD checks sent by mail: This option will allow you to receive your benefits via EDD check. You should allow 7-10 days for the delivery of your checks by mail.

Not Eligible for Benefits

The EDD will send you a Notice to Paid Family Leave Determination and an Appeal Form (DE 1000A) if you don’t meet the eligibility requirements. The EDD will send you a Notice of Paid Family Leave Determination (DE 2514) and an Appeal Form (DE 1000A) within 30 days from the date of the disqualification notice. Visit this page to have more information for appeals.

Step 5: Continue Or Stop Receiving Your Benefits

Continue Your Benefits

To continue your benefits, you can certify

They will send you the Continued Claims Certification for Paid Family Benefits (DE 2580GF) if you report intermittent leave or continued working on your claim form. This certifies that you worked the required number of days during your claim. Your benefits will be terminated if you don’t return the DE2580GF.

You can extend your PFL period by signing a certificate

If you have any benefits, a Notice of Final Payment (DE-2525XF), will be sent to your address when your PFL claim indicates you are ready to return to work.

On PFL care claims

They will mail you a Paid Family Leave Supplemental Claim Certificate (DE 2525XFA) along with your final payment. You can continue to provide care for your family member if you choose the appropriate box on the PFL Claimant’s Certification section of DE 2525XFA. You must also have the care recipient’s licensed health professional complete the Physician/Practitioner’s Supplementary Certificate section of the DE 2525XFA and return it to them.

PFL bonding claims

If you haven’t used your eight weeks of benefits consecutively or are using your bonding benefits intermittently, but still have benefits and wish to extend them, please complete the Request To Re-Establish A Bonding Claim For Paid Family Leave, or order and submit a Claim for Paid Family Leave Benefits (DE 2501F).

However, if you are not returning to work or have had a break from certification during your current bonding period, another option is to call 1-877-238-4373 to extend your claim verbally.

If you want to extend your claim for PFL military assistance, you can order and submit a DE 2501F. To order forms including the DE 2501F visit Online Formulas and Publications.

Stop Your Benefits

If you return work before the estimated date of recovery of the care recipient or your reported return-to-work date on your military assistance claim, and you are on automatic payments, please fill out the Notice Of Change in Claimant Statute on the Notice for Automatic Payment – PFL (DE-2587F) and send it back to them.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!