Good news for the working Indians in California! The residents of California are now entitled to 6 weeks of paid leave a year to look after a seriously ill parent, spouse, child, grandparent, parent-in-law, or sibling in the United States, India, or any other country. Also, they can take the paid leave to care for a registered domestic partner as per California’s Employment Development Department. All thanks to California’s Paid Family Leave Act for the working residents.
California’s Paid Family Leave Act entitles the working residents, irrespective of nationality, religion and immigration status, to receive 60-70% of their salaries while they are on leave to care for a seriously ill family member residing in the US or abroad. It ranges from $50 (minimum) to $1,216 (maximum) a week based on their salaries.
Immigrants in California, including Indians can benefit from paid family leave as long as they have paid into the system through a payroll tax with the code CASDI (State Disability Insurance in California), according to Kacie Finnicum, a spokesperson of the Employment Development Department. Approximately 18 million working residents of the state are eligible for paid family leave under the provisions of California’s Paid Family Leave Act.
Eligibility Criteria for California’s Paid Family Leave Act Benefits
To qualify for California’s Paid Family Leave Act benefits, you must be the primary caregiver for a seriously ill family member. One’s family member may have more than one caregiver, but only the primary caregiver residing and working in California is eligible for paid family leave.
You need to obtain a letter from the care recipient certifying you as primary caregiver and a medical certificate from his or her physician or health care practitioner. Physicians attending to care recipients residing outside the United States are required to meet certain qualification standards as per the US Employee Development Department (EDD) so that they can provide primary caregivers with medical certification to help the latter get paid family leave benefits.
As per California’s Paid Family Leave Act, you need to ensure that a care recipient is a family member having a serious health condition which is defined as a severe physical ailment or mental illness or accidental injury requiring at-home care or in-patient care at a hospital. A care recipient is also defined as one requiring a long-term treatment from a physician or health care practitioner.
To be eligible for paid family leave benefits, you must have paid towards the State Disability Insurance in the past 5 to 18 months, and you need to furnish a valid proof of your contribution. At the same time, you must not have taken 6 weeks of paid leave in the past twelve months.
Best of California’s Paid Family Leave Act
What is the best about California’s Paid Family Leave Act is that working parents residing in California can take up to six weeks of paid family leave to bond with and look after their newborn. It helps decrease infant mortality and post-natal depression. You can use paid family leave benefits to catch up with or care for an adoptive or foster parent in or outside the USA.
You can take paid family leave in several shorter durations over the course of a year, instead of taking all 6 weeks at once.
Though effective from January 2017, California’s Paid Family Leave Act is an under-utilized program which the state’s working residents are paying for and which mostly immigrant communities are a little aware of. We at Indian Eagle, a leading travel booking partner of Indians in USA, not only strive to book cheap US to India flights but keep Indians in America updated about the latest immigration, visa, travel and community news.