Changes to state disability insurance and paid family leave benefits from 2016 have phased in

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A reminder to employers that certain 2016 changes to disability benefits (per AB 908) take effect January 1, 2018. The State Disability Insurance program (“SDI”) provides partial wage replacement benefits (up to a maximum of 52 weeks) to eligible California workers who are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. The state Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) program provides up to six weeks of partial pay to employees who take time off from work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child entering the family through birth, adoption, or foster care

For claims beginning on or after January 1, 2018, weekly benefits under SDI and PFL were increased to approximately 60 to 70 percent (depending on income) of wages earned 5 to 18 months prior to the claim start date, ranging from $50 to a maximum of $1,216. Also, effective January 1, 2018, the 7-day waiting period for PFL benefits was removed. The 7-day waiting period for SDI benefits remains.

Employers should revise any policies or notices that are affected by these changes.