Paid Family Leave: Military Families

Does someone in your family work in the military? Do you have to take time off work when they are deployed to look after children or for parental care?

If so, you may be eligible for a new type of Paid Family Leave claim called Military Assist. 

What is Paid Family Leave?

Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) provides Californian residents and workers with partial wage replacement benefits where they have to take time off from work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child (including fostered and adopted children). 

PFL is funded by California Workers through a State Disability Insurance payroll deduction. 

Paid Family Leave has been extended to now include a new type of claim: Military Assist. 

What is Military Assist and Who is Eligible to Apply?

Military Assist will provide wage replacement benefits to eligible Californian military families as of 1 January 2021. 

The Paid Family Leave program provides up to eight weeks of partial wage replacement benefits for employees who have to take time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. 

If you need to take time off work for reasons relating to the deployment of a spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, or child to a foreign country, you may be eligible to make a Military Assist claim. 

The benefits will cover the time taken off to attend an event or manage an essential need during a family member’s call to covered active duty. Needs include childcare, parental care arrangements, attending military-sponsored events, or making legal and financial arrangements. 

How Will Military Assist Benefit Military Families?

The deployment of an immediate family member is difficult for the rest of the family for many reasons.

Emotionally, financially, and logistically. 

This benefit is a recognition of the sacrifice military families make and the hardships that this can bring. For example, the deployment of a spouse can result in both childcare and parental care difficulties, especially if the remaining spouse is also in full-time employment. 

This benefit will therefore help military families to take time off for essential needs without the concern of financial difficulty. This might have otherwise been the case, with taking unpaid leave being the only option available. 

When Can You Make a Military Assist Claim?

You can claim from January 1, 2021. 

Forms are being updated to allow applicants to apply for this benefit from the start date.

Need Help Claiming for Military Assist?

If you are considering claiming Military Assist benefits when this becomes available in January, there is information available here as to how you can do this. 

If you need any more advice or have any questions, get in touch with the EDD who will help you with any queries you have about eligibility, available benefits and entitlements.