The Waiting Week, Explained
We know that no one wants to wait to get their money.
However, by law, the Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance programs have an unpaid week built into them—a period commonly called the “waiting week.”
We pay benefits starting on the eighth day of disability. This means that the first seven consecutive days of your approved leave are unpaid, until your leave continues for any part of each of the next three weeks. If your disability continues that long, you will receive retroactive payment for the waiting week. The “waiting week” does not mean that you have to wait a week before applying for benefits! You can submit your application as soon as you become disabled or your family leave begins.
Here’s an example. If you became disabled on August 9 and we approve your application for benefits, you would begin receiving benefits for the period starting August 16. If you are still disabled on August 30, benefits for the first seven days (August 9 to 15) would then be added to your next regular payment.
There’s one exception to this rule: new mothers who receive Family Leave Insurance benefits immediately after their postpartum Temporary Disability Insurance benefits for pregnancy and recovery. In this case, since the mother already served the waiting week to get her Temporary Disability Insurance benefits, she doesn’t need to serve a second waiting period before getting her money for bonding.
If you’re taking intermittent leave to care for a family member, it’s still possible to receive payment for the waiting week. As long as you take at least one intermittent day in each of the three weeks following the waiting week, you’ll receive retroactive payment for that first week.