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Family Leave Insurance and Temporary Disability Insurance

Family Leave Insurance

Materials:

For information on the changes to the NJ Family Leave Insurance Program click here

Family Leave Insurance Brochure for New Parents (English)(Espanol).

Family Leave B&W Flyer (English) and (Espanol)

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Click here to request hard copies of the above New Parent Brochure 
Click here to request a presentation on Family Leave Insurance Program
Click to learn more about Temporary Disability Insurance

WHAT IS FAMILY LEAVE INSURANCE (FLI)?
Six weeks of partial wage replacement over a 12-month period to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child or to care for any loved one -- a blood relative or someone who is the equivalent of family, related or not!

People taking this leave will receive up to 2/3rds of their usual wage, with a maximum of $650/wk* in 2019. 

Who gets it?
Most employees** who work in New Jersey are eligible.

You must have worked at least 20 calendar weeks where you earned at least $172/week*, or you earned at least $8,600* in the year before you take family leave.

All eligible employees began contributing to the FLI program through their normal paycheck on January 1, 2009.  

When should you file an application for family leave insurance benefits?
An application, or "claim", must be filed within 30 days after the commencement of a period of family leave. A penalty may be imposed if the claim is filed late. You may give a reason for a late application.

Where can you get an application for FLI benefits?
Application forms are available on the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s website, by telephoning the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance’s Customer Service Section at (609) 292-7060, or by writing to the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance, PO Box 387, Trenton, NJ 08625-0387. It is highly recommended to apply online for faster processing times.

When can new parents apply for FLI to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child?
Family Leave Insurance benefits for bonding with a newborn or newly adopted child are only payable during the 12 months after the child’s birth or adoption. You may apply for FLI anytime within those 12 months. If mothers take FLI immediately after taking temporary disability for pregancy related reasons, they only have to submit the 1-page FL2 form which will be mailed 35 days after delivery, you can also complete the application online here.

Does an employee have to notify an employer if he/she intends to claim FLI benefits?
Yes. Employees intending to take leave to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child must provide the employer with a minimum of thirty (30) days notice prior to commencement of the family leave. Failure by the employee to provide this notice will result in a 2 week (14 day) reduction in the claimant's maximum FLI benefits entitlement for the 12-month period unless the time of the leave is unforeseeable or the time of the leave changes for unforeseeable reasons.

Employees intending to take leave to care for a seriously ill family member on a continuous, non-intermittent basis must provide the employer with prior notice of the family leave in a reasonable and practicable manner, unless an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance precludes prior notice.

Employees intending to take leave to care for a seriously ill family member on an intermittent basis must provide the employer with a minimum of fifteen (15) days notice prior to the commencement of the intermittent family leave unless an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance precludes prior notice.

Is there a waiting period before FLI benefits can be paid?
NO. The waiting period still applies for Temporary Disability Insurance, workers who are approved for FLI will not have to wait to be paid for the first week of their leave. 

What about intermittent leave?

You can now claim FLI benefits to bond for as many or as few days at a time as you wish. Under the old law, you had to claim benefits for a week at a time. Now you can take it one or more days at a time, up to the maximum days available (42 days). 

Can an employer require an employee to use paid time off during the period the employee is claiming FLI benefits?

Employers can no longer reduce the number of days or weeks you can take off from work and claim Family Leave Insurance benefits to care for a family member or bond with a child.

Before, if you had paid time off available through your job, your employer could require you to bundle those company-paid days off into your leave time.

For example, if you had one week of paid vacation time available, and wanted to take six weeks off to bond with a newborn, your employer could make you take the first week of that leave as your paid vacation time, leaving you with only remaining five weeks to bond and receive Family Leave Insurance benefits.

Now, you can take that paid time off in addition to claiming the maximum allowed Family Leave benefits to which you are entitled. Using the example above, that would mean you could take seven weeks total - one week as paid vacation time from your employer, and six weeks of Family Leave Insurance benefits paid by the state.

Does FLI provide job protections? (see below graphic describing the differences between wage replacment and job protection) More details also available here.
No.  The Family Leave Insurance program does not protect anyone's job. The program provides partial wage replacement. Some employees may have their job protected under other laws, such as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA).

Can you apply for FLI when unemployed?
Yes. If a claimant applies for Family Leave Insurance benefits more than 14 days after his/her last day of work, benefits may be payable under the provisions of the Family Leave Insurance Benefits During Unemployment Program. Individuals claiming benefits under this program must meet all the eligibility requirements of the Unemployment Compensation Law, but are not required to establish availability for work.

Can someone get FLI benefits if you have to provide care for a sick family member out of NJ or the country?
Yes. A claim may be submitted for Family Leave Insurance benefits to care for a family member with a serious health condition who is out of the state or out of the country. Benefits may be payable provided the medical certificate is properly completed and establishes a need for care.

If eligible, benefits are paid for full weekly periods starting from Sunday through Saturday. There is no provision to pay for intermittent days under the Family Leave Insurance Benefits During Unemployment Program.

For more questions, call: 732-246-4772 ext. 125 or E-mail: info@njtimetocare.org 

Click Here For Family Leave Insurance Resources, Research and Reports.

Link to NJ Family Leave Law

*Amounts are current for 2019, visit http://bit.ly/NJFLIDOL for any updates

**Employees of all private and governmental employers subject to the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law are covered.