Information posted by local Manchester CPA firm Borgida & Company, P.C.
By now most every Connecticut resident is undoubtedly aware of the State’s new Paid Family & Medical Leave law because they’ve been seeing an additional deduction in their paycheck every week since January 1, 2021. In June 2019 the Connecticut legislature passed a bill giving Connecticut workers up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a new baby, a seriously ill family member, or to deal with their own illness. The new benefit is funded by a payroll tax of 0.5% that went into effect on January 1, 2021. Now Connecticut residents will be able to avail themselves of the benefits beginning January 1, 2022.
The law covers almost all employers with one or more employees. Employees are generally eligible for benefits if they have earned wages of at least $2,325 in the highest quarter of the first four of the five most recently completed quarters and are currently employed or have been employed within the last 12 weeks, or are self-employed, a sole proprietor and a Connecticut resident enrolled in the program. You don’t have to be employed full-time in order to be eligible for benefits; you only need to meet the minimum earnings test and be currently employed or recently separated.
Eligible employees can apply for benefits for several reasons:
- To receive treatment or recover from their own serious health conditions (including pregnancy);
- To care for a family member who has a serious health condition;
- To bond with their new-born child (or newly adopted child or new foster child);
- To care for a parent, spouse, child or next of kin who was injured in the line of duty on active duty in the military;
- To address specific circumstances associated with the deployment of a parent, spouse or child to overseas military duty; and
- To address specific situations associated with family violence.
What are the benefits?
If you are an eligible employee and are experiencing one of the qualifying reasons, you are entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid leave benefits. If your wages are less than or equal to the Connecticut minimum wage multiplied by 40 ($520 weekly in January 2022) then your weekly benefit will be 95% of your average weekly wage. If your wages exceed the Connecticut minimum wage multiplied by 40 then your weekly benefit will be 95% of the Connecticut minimum wage multiplied by 40 plus 60% of the amount your average weekly wage exceeds the Connecticut minimum wage multiplied by 40. The weekly benefit rate is capped at 60 times the Connecticut minimum wage ($780 weekly in January 2022). So your weekly benefit will be a minimum of 95% of your average weekly wage up to a maximum of $780 per week as of January 2022.
How do you apply?
Connecticut has established a web site to obtain information about the program and to apply for benefits. You will first need to create an account with CT.gov if you don’t already have one. Once you’ve created the account you’ll be able to submit and manage your claim including submitting a new claim, viewing the status of your claim, and checking payments made on your claim.
Connecticut now has one of the most comprehensive Family and Medical Leave Laws in the country. If you find yourself in need of the benefits or if you just want more information, be sure to visit the website.