Washington State Family Medical Leave (FML) FAQs

Who is eligible for paid family leave in Washington?

Maybe you just had a new baby. Congratulations! Maybe you are expecting a new child in a few months. Babies bring many new challenges and questions that don’t always have anything to do with the baby itself. One of these questions is how can i keep paying the mortgage or rent?

It’s there that paid family leave mount the clutch. You would be hard pressed to find someone who is not eligible for this program. It is sufficient to have worked at least 16 hours per week during the previous calendar year, whether at one or more workplaces. As long as you have worked more than 820 hours over the year, you are eligible!

Photo by Hollie Santos on Unsplash

picture by Hollie Santos to Unsplash

How much is paid family leave in Washington?

The only downside to paid family leave is that you don’t earn exactly what you earned when you were still working. Washington will pay up to 90% of your salary, which in 2022 tops out at $1,327 per week. One thing to keep in mind is that paid time off (PTO) hours at work will not count towards your total.

Photo by Rachel McDermott on Unsplash

picture by Rachel McDermott to Unsplash

When should you apply for paid family leave in Washington?

There are a few steps you need to take before your baby arrives. Inform your employer in advance (30 days) of your intention to take paid leave. You can only apply after the birth of your child. You can wait a bit before having news of the state.

Photo by Mikael Stenberg on Unsplash

picture by Mikael Stenberg to Unsplash

Once I’ve been approved, is there anything else I need to do?

Once you’re in the system, you must file weekly claims with the state so they can pay your benefits. Typically, you will be paid on the same day each week.

Will I keep my job when I go on leave?

In most cases, your work will be waiting for you when you return. There is a some cases where it’s not so sure. However, state, local, and federal laws provide some protection.

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

picture by Alexander Dummer to Unsplash

How will I be paid?

It is recommended to apply for FML online so that you can be paid via direct deposit. People who do not apply online will need to receive their payment on a prepaid card.

How many weeks of paid family leave am I entitled to?

Depending on your situation, you benefit from 12 to 18 weeks of leave. Mothers can combine family leave with medical leave while recovering from childbirth. Mothers who have a caesarean can benefit from a maximum of 18 weeks of leave.

Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash

picture by Jessica Rockowitz to Unsplash

Do I have to use my leave all at once?

FML is a blanket program, which means it’s more useful only for parents who just had a baby. You don’t have to use all of your leave at once.

Should I go on leave when my baby is born?

Mothers will obviously want to go on leave right away to bond with and care for their new baby. Depending on your financial situation, it may not be possible for both parents to go on leave at the same time. Fortunately, you have a full year after the birth of your child to use your leave.

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