What do I get with PFL?

NY Paid Family Leave benefits gradually increase over the next 4 years as you can see in the chart below for leave taken in weekly increments. For leave taken in daily increments, the amount is based on the average number of days worked per week during the 8 weeks before taking leave.


Benefit Stage Effective Date*


Maximum Length of Paid Leave**

Maximum Benefit Amount***

Payable % of Employee’s Average Weekly Wage (AWW)

To the Maximum % of NY Average Weekly Wage

$ Max based on current NY AWW  of $1,305.92***


8 weeks





10 weeks





10 weeks





12 weeks




*While this the anticipated phase-in schedule, New York State may delay implementation at its discretion.
** Total for all qualifying events per 52-week period from the first day of paid leave (and regardless of requalifying at a new employer during that period).
***NY Department of Labor releases the updated statewide AWW every March 31.

What does this mean for you?

In 2018, the benefit is set at 50% of your average weekly wage, capped at 50% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW). The NYSAWW for 2018 is $1,305.92. 50% of the NYSAWW is $652.96, so:

  • If you make $1,000 per week (less than the NYSAWW), your PFL benefit will be $500;
  • If you make $1,305.92 per week (the same as the NYSAWW), your PFL benefit will be $652.96;
  • If you make $2000 per week (more than the NYSAWW), your PFL benefit will be $652.96.

Don’t’ forget:
The benefit amount that is in effect when you start your leave applies to the full duration of your paid leave for that event, even if a new calendar year with increased benefit levels falls in that period. That means: If your leave extends into the next calendar year, your benefit will NOT change to reflect the next year’s new amount.  You can take intermittent paid leave in daily increments, such as every other Monday. 


ShelterPoint  TOOLS FOR YOU

To get an idea of your potential PFL benefit amount, use our easy 2018 PFL weekly benefit estimator.



What does PFL cost?

Paid Family Leave is often referred to as an employee-funded benefit, but it’s up to your employer to decide fi and how much to deduct from you (up to the maximum contribution set by New York State). If your employer takes contributions from you, your employer:

  1. Could have started talking payroll deductions as early as 07/01/2017,
  2. Doesn’t have to refund any early deductions if you left the company before 01/01/2018,
  3. Can start taking deductions as soon as you start a new job, even during your qualification period,
  4. Cannot retroactively collect payroll deductions for PFL if they started later than 01/01/2018,
  5. Cannot exceed your maximum contribution. If they do, they have to return the excess to you.  See what the max contribution really looks like.


What's my "maximum contribution?"

What’s my “maximum contribution?”

In 2018, your maximum contribution is 0.126% of your annualized wages capped at the annualized New York State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW) of $67,907.84 per year;*  which means your maximum annual contribution for NY Paid Family Leave is $85.56 per year.

On average, this is about $1.65/week. If you make less the NYSAWW, you’ll contribute less, but still 0.126% of your weekly wage. If you make more than the NYSAWW, your max contribution is capped at $85.56 per year.

The PFL rate is set by NY State, and can be adjusted annually, effective January 1. The 2018 rate was set by 06/01/2017. Thereafter updated rates are set and announced by NY State by 09/01/2018 of each year for the following calendar year.

*NY Department of Labor releases the updated NYSAWW every March 31.


Quick Tips: Using Paid Family Leave

  1. You need to provide your employer with a 30-day written notice for foreseeable events (like birth or regular, scheduled treatments). If you can’t provide this notice due to the sudden nature of the event (an accident, heart attack, or short-notice deployment, for example), you’re still entitled to take leave, but must notify your employer as soon as reasonably possible.
  2. If you take intermittent leave, your employer has the right to require you to provide notice before each day of leave — even if it’s a regular schedule.
  3. There is no “waiting period.”
  4. Once on leave, you’ll receive a monetary PFL benefit (partial income replacement) from your employer’s DBL/PFL insurance carrier.
  5. You can’t take DBL and PFL at the same time, i.e., receive benefits from both concurrently. They must be taken in sequence.
    1. If you qualify for both DBL and PFL, the combined duration cannot exceed 26 weeks in a consecutive 52-week period (whether those benefits are for the same or different qualifying events). Read more about how DBL and PFL compare.
  6. Your employer can’t require you to use up your accumulated PTO (sick/vacation days) before letting you go out on Paid Family Leave (unless it’s also an approved FMLA leave).
  7. You can, however, choose to use your accrued PTO during your Paid Family Leave, and receive your full salary as opposed to the percentage provided by PFL. If you do this:
    1. You won’t be able to collect both PTO and monetary PFL benefits simultaneously;
    2. PFL will only provide job protection in this case.
  8. If the business you work for has 50+ employees, it has to honor Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — which means your PFL benefits must be coordinated and used concurrently with FMLA benefits.Learn more about PFL vs. FMLA here.
  9. Paid Family Leave provides more than just monetary benefits — it provides job security similar to unpaid leave with FMLA but regardless of employer size. So,
    1. When returning from PFL, you’re entitled to return to your same or comparable position;
    2. If your employer declines to reinstate you when you return from PFL, you have the right to report this to NY State.
  10. If you have health insurance through your employer, it is continued at your usual coverage level and contribution amount as if you weren’t on leave. 

Latest Resources


More NY Paid Family Leave Resources 

ShelterPoint will keep you in-the-know on the latest news, regulations, and updates as Paid Family Leave continues to roll out between now and 2021. We have the tools, information, and tips to keep you compliant with all the changes to Paid Family Leave.
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