Connecticut is now the eighth state in the nation to enact a paid family and medical leave program Governor Ned Lamont announced yesterday that applications are now being accepted for Connecticut residents who want to participate in the state’s new paid family and medical leave program. Claims are being accepted for qualifying events that are happening on or after January 1, 2022.
Under the program, which was enacted through legislation championed by Governor Lamont and signed by him in 2019, workers will gain access to the necessary benefits that allow them to take time off work to care for their own health, a newborn child, or a sick family member. Eligible workers can receive up to 12 weeks of income replacement for qualifying events.
Connecticut is only the eighth state in the nation to enact a paid family and medical leave program. While most other modern countries in the world have some type of paid family and medical leave program, the United States does not. Only 13% of private-sector workers in the United States have access to paid family and medical leave.
“This is a milestone in Connecticut as we begin to accept benefit applications for one of the strongest paid family and medical leave programs in the nation,” Governor Lamont said. “Supporting the workers of our state will strengthen our economic footing and make Connecticut a stronger place to live, work, and do business. With the launch of this program, workers who need to take time off for a new baby or to recover from an illness are not punished financially, and businesses do not risk losing good workers during those emergencies. This is long overdue, and I am proud that we’re enacting a program that will be a benefit to both workers and businesses.”
The program is administered by the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority. Applications can be submitted through its website at ctpaidleave.org or via email, fax, phone, or mail. The toll-free application hotline is 877-499-8606.
Qualifying reasons to submit a claim include:
• Medical leave for one’s own serious health condition (which includes pregnancy, as well as serving as a bone marrow or organ donor)
• Caregiver leave to care for a family member experiencing a serious health condition
• Bonding leave to bond with a new child that has entered a person’s home through birth, adoption, or foster care
Family violence leave to address issues arising from family violence
• Qualifying exigency leave to address issues arising from a parent, child, or spouse’s military deployment
• Military caregiver leave to care for a family member injured during active duty in the United States Armed Forces
The amount of income replacement varies based on a worker’s earnings and is capped at 60 times the state minimum wage. The combination of employer-provided benefits and benefits received under the paid leave program cannot exceed 100% of a worker’s normal weekly earnings.
State Representative Robyn Porter (D-Hamden, New Haven), co-chair of the legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee, said, “Paid leave is good for families and good for businesses. It will help to relieve the burden of workers who need to be there for their loved ones while allowing them to retain their employment, thus strengthening Connecticut’s economy.”
For additional information about the program, visit ctpaidleave.org.