These Benefits Will Start In the Third Year of the Program Starting January 1, 2020 Where the new average annual wage will be $72,860 and a weekly benefit of $840.70 per week

The Department of Financial Service (DFS), New York has announced that the benefits under New York’s Paid Family program will be increased to 60% of the average weekly wage for up to 10 weeks of leave. The decision of increasing the benefits will stay unless the Superintendent of the DFS announces a delay citing non-compliance with Workers Compensation Law 204(2).

New York’s Paid Family Leave program is the most comprehensive program in its category in the entire country. The program, which began in 2018, allows eligible employees to take time off to address important personal matters without worrying about not being paid anything for their absence from work. The three key events for which employees can use these family leave benefits include: to attend to the needs of a family member with a serious health condition, to handle personal matters when a family member is called to active duty in the US Armed Forces, or to bond with a new child. The family leave benefits were 50% and 55% of the average weekly wage of the eligible employees in the first two years of the program.

The premium rate for the family leave benefits is decided by the Superintendent of DFS as stated under Insurance Law 4235(n)(1), which also mentions that these benefits need to be community rated. So the family leave program will offer similar benefits to every eligible employee irrespective of their geographical location, age, gender, or other demographic factors. In addition, the Superintendent establishes the maximum amount that an employer is authorized to collect from employees for Family Leave program.

In 2018, the year the Family Leave program was introduced, 27 insurers offered this program. The number of insurers offering this program has gone up to 29. DFS believes there will be more insurers joining in next year.
The premium rate is the percentage of an employee’s wage. The Superintendent has established that the premium rate for the coverage starting January 1, 2020, will be 0.270% of an employee’s wages each pay period and shall not exceed a maximum annual employee contribution of $196.72.

DFS has reminded all statutory disability insurers are law-bound to offer Family Leave benefits. It has also asked all relevant insurers to submit Family Leave Benefits policy forms and rates by October 1, 2019. Insurers can visit the DFS website for more information on PFL checklist, submission instructions, and model rider.

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