Paid family leave is treated as a type of disability insurance under California law. Typically, paid family leave is handled totally in-house. You would file a request with your employer and then take your leave. You only file a claim with California if your employer is part of the state program or refuses to give you paid family leave.
You file for disability insurance and paid family leave using the same entity: the Employment Development Division. California permits you to file for benefits online or via mail. You must first create a State Disability Insurance profile.
Once you have your online account, you can file a "new claim" under the claim for paid family leave tab. You will need to submit proof your relationship to the person you are bonding with (newborns or adopted children) or providing care. If you are providing care, then you must print out and fill out the Claim for Paid Family Leave Care Benefits. This form will ask you to fill out the recipient information, costs and nature of the care. Once it is filled out, you can upload it electronically. Once you finish your claim, you are given a Form Receipt Number. You can use this number to track your claim.
You may also file a paid family leave claim via mail. You can order the forms online and fill them out. If you do mail your form, make sure to use only black ink. You must complete pages 1-3, Parts A and B or C of form DE 2051F. Once your claim is processed, you will receive a Notice of Computation.
If you are determined to be eligible, you will receive an EDD Debit Card. If your paid family leave claim was denied, then you may want to speak to an attorney. You are entitled to an appeal, and an attorney can help prepare your arguments. Paid family leave is a right enjoyed by all Californians; sometimes you may have to fight for your right.