FAQ: Family Leave Insurance
Family Leave Insurance provides New Jersey workers cash benefits for up to six weeks to bond with a newborn or newly placed adoptive, or foster child, or to provide care for a seriously ill or injured family member.
- You can apply online, which is the easiest way to apply for benefits. Once you submit your application, you will get immediate confirmation that we received it.
- You can download, print, and fill out a paper application (FL-1), and mail it back to us at Division of Temporary Disability & Family Leave Insurance, P.O. Box 387, Trenton, NJ 08625-0387, or fax it to 609-984-4138.
Any New Jersey worker who contributes to the state plan for Family Leave Insurance, or an approved private plan may be eligible. Check your pay stubs or ask your employer if you’re not sure about your coverage.
You may be eligible to receive benefits if you work in New Jersey, regardless of where you live.
You have 30 days from the first day of your leave to file your claim. If your claim is received more than 30 days after the first day of your leave, you must provide a reason why the claim was not filed on time. Benefits may be reduced or denied for late applications.
For bonding claims: You must give your employer 30 days’ notice if taking your family leave bonding in one continuous period, and 15 days' notice if taking your leave in a non-continuous manner.
For caregiving claims: You must give your employer reasonable notice if taking your leave in one continuous period, unless there are unforeseen or emergency circumstances. If taking your leave in a non-continuous manner, you must give your employer 15 days' notice before each anticipated absence.
Your employer cannot require you to use company paid time off. If you choose to use accrued sick or vacation time, this will not reduce your Family Leave benefit days. Those days can be used in addition to claiming the maximum allowed Family Leave benefits to which you are entitled.
School employees on a recess, or a break between academic years, cannot receive benefits.
If you work a second job during a school-wide recess or break, you may qualify for benefits using the wages from that other job.
Even if you must travel to care for your family member, you may still qualify for benefits.
Family Leave benefit days can be taken in one continuous period, or in individual periods to suit your needs. You can claim Family Leave Insurance benefits to bond or care for as many or as few days at a time, up to the maximum days available. The maximum days available is 42 days (6 weeks) in a 12-month period.
No, although you may take leave at the same time if you wish. New parents can stagger their leave so they receive benefits for different time periods during their baby’s first year.
You must certify that you did not work on the days you are claiming. To do this, you must sign your partial leave schedule after you have taken those days off. You then need to send us the signed schedule or we can’t pay your benefits.
New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (FLI) is a partial wage-replacement program. It does not guarantee employer-approved time off or job protection.
However, your job may be protected under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA), which require covered employers to provide their employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks. You must apply for FMLA protection directly with your employer.
These programs are not related, and you may be eligible for Family Leave Insurance benefits whether or not your job is protected under FMLA or NJFLA.
Benefits may be payable under the Family Leave During Unemployment benefits program. You must meet the eligibility requirements of the Unemployment Compensation law, except for establishing availability for work. You must notify the Division of Unemployment Insurance immediately to suspend your unemployment claim.
You will need to have your doctor send us certification of when you delivered, whether the birth was a C-section, and when you are expected to recover. About a month after you give birth, the Division of Temporary Disability will mail you instructions for filing a transitional bonding claim online. You will receive the same weekly benefit as your current disability benefit.
If you choose to wait to apply for Family Leave Insurance benefits for bonding, you have up until your child's first birthday to complete a new, non-transitional claim.
Applications are processed in the order in which they are received. However, if your claim does not contain all the required information, it will take longer to process. It is important that you answer every question on your portion of the form. You must also have the care recipient's medical provider, if applicable, submit their information as soon as possible to have your application processed and any benefits paid promptly.
Family Leave Insurance does not have any waiting period restrictions built into it. Benefits are issued for each family leave day claimed, immediately after they are approved.
- First, we calculate your average weekly wage. We do this by dividing your base year gross earnings by the number of base weeks. A "base week" is any week you earn $172 or more.
- Now, we can determine your weekly benefit rate. Claimants are paid two-thirds (2/3) of their average weekly wage, up to a maximum set at the beginning of each calendar year. For 2019, the maximum weekly benefit is $650.
For example, let’s say Steve's first day of leave is Friday, March 1, 2019. To see how much he would receive weekly on Family Leave Insurance, we look at his reported wages for the first four of the last 5 completed quarters:
|Previous Completed Quarters||Timeframe Covered||Total Earnings||Number of Base Weeks|
10/1/18 - 12/30/18
|$5,500||13 base weeks|
7/1/18 - 9/30/18
|$5,000||12 base weeks|
4/1/18 - 6/30/18
|$5,000||12 base weeks|
1/1/18 - 3/31/18
|$4,000||10 base weeks|
10/1/17 - 12/31/17
|$4,200||11 base weeks|
Quarters 1 through 4 are the regular base year and the timeframe used to calculate his benefits.
Total base year earnings: $18,200 which we divide by 45 (the number of base weeks)
This gives us an average weekly wage of $404.
Steve’s weekly benefit rate is 2/3 of his average weekly wage: $269.
If Steve is taking his leave on a day by day basis, he will receive 1/7 of his weekly benefit rate for each day he claims: $38 per day.
You may receive benefits for up to six weeks (42 days) during a 12-month period, starting on the first day of your leave, or until you receive benefits equal to one-third (1/3) of your total wages during your base year, whichever is less.
If you have not claimed your maximum benefit amount, you may reestablish a claim within the same 12-month period to care for a different family member, or during or following employment with a different employer.
You cannot receive more than six weeks or 42 days of benefits during the 12-month period, for any reason.
You can change your address in our records by logging in to your account and updating your online profile. Otherwise, you must notify us in writing of a new or corrected address.
Be sure your letter includes:
- Your full name
- Your former address
- Your new complete address
- Your Social Security number – we cannot identify your claim without it
- Your signature and the date
Mail the letter to: Division of Temporary Disability & Family Leave Insurance, P.O. Box 387, Trenton, NJ 08625-0387.
If you filed online, you can access some forms online by clicking here and logging in to your account. For everything else, call us 609-292-7060 so we can have our computer system send a new form to you right away.
Yes, but only if you haven’t maxed out your annual benefit entitlement. Claimants are limited to six weeks of benefits within a 12-month period, regardless of the reason for the leave.
Your employer may require you to use up to two weeks of paid sick leave, paid vacation time, or other full pay in addition to claiming Family Leave Insurance benefits. This will not reduce the number of Family Leave days available.
If you do not initially request the entire six weeks (or 42 intermittent days) of benefits, you will receive a Family Leave Insurance Continued Claim Certification form (FL-3) after your application is approved. If you need to continue caring for a family member or bonding with a child, use this form to extend your Family Leave Insurance benefits.
Yes. The determination you received comes with a written statement explaining your appeal rights. For more information, see Appeals.
Family Leave Insurance benefits are considered taxable income for purposes of the federal income tax. They are not considered taxable for purposes of the New Jersey gross income tax. When you apply, you can choose to have 10% of your benefits withheld for federal income tax. At the end of each calendar year, you will need to obtain a 1099-G form online.
It is completely financed by worker payroll deductions. Employers do not contribute to the program.
Workers currently contribute 0.08% of their taxable wage base. The taxable wage base is the first $34,400 in covered wages earned during the calendar year, and the maximum yearly deduction for Family Leave Insurance is $27.52.
You may request a refund by downloading a refund application here. You may NOT take credit for the overpayment on your New Jersey income tax 1040 form. For more information, write the Division of Employer Accounts, Worker Refund Unit, P.O. Box 910, Trenton, NJ 08625-0910 or call 609-633-6400.