Prior to the MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act, short-term disability benefits provided partial income replacement for non-work-related illnesses or injuries in Massachusetts.

With MA PFMLA benefits going into effect on January 1, 2021, (and additional benefits beginning July 1, 2021), Massachusetts business owners may wonder if they still need to offer group STD to employees.

The DBL Center, a wholesale insurance general agency specializing in statutory benefits, recently shared details on why Massachusetts business owners should supplement MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act benefits with Group STD.

Short Term Disability vs. MA PFML (MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act)

Employers in Massachusetts must provide statutory PFML coverage. Businesses over 25 employees can write their benefits plan through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or choose a private plan that:

  • Meets or exceeds the benefits and duration of the state plan
  • Has the same or more lenient requirements
  • Offers the same or lower premiums than the state plan.

Group STD Coverage Bridges the Gap Between PFML and Long-Term Disability


In 2021, the MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act will compensate workers for up to 20 weeks of personal medical leave. However, if the worker already filed a personal or family leave claim within the past calendar year, they may not be able to collect for the full 20 weeks.

On the other hand, employees can collect STD income replacement for up to 26 weeks, regardless of other claims.

Long-term disability insurance typically goes into effect 26 weeks after an employee becomes disabled. STD provides income replacement for those six weeks (or more) once PFML runs out, before LTD begins.

Better benefits help reduce employee stress and improve retention rates within a company. Combining PFML with Group STD and the best long-term disability insurance , plus ancillary benefits like dental, vision, and Group Life AD&D can set a Massachusetts business apart.

About The DBL Center Ltd.

With 40+ years in the insurance industry, The DBL Center services 100,000 insured corporations through 4,000 brokers across 15 states as a wholesale insurance general agency. For more information, visit, call 800.325.2777 or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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