How to Prepare Clients for the NY Paid Family Leave Bonding Policy

Topics: Disability Benefits

Welcoming a new child into the home is an important and exciting time in a family’s life. This life-changing event brings with it a mix of positive experiences and new pressures. While there is no federal requirement as of this publishing for paid family leave in the United States, the State of New York will start supporting families through this big change beginning on January 1, 2018 with the implementation of the New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL) Policy.

The new policy is actually threefold, and guarantees New Yorkers paid family leave and job protection in three instances:

  • A new child has entered the home
  • A loved one needs care due to a serious health condition
  • Someone in the family has been called to active military service

Keep reading to learn more about Bonding Leave, then help your New York clients get prepared to comply with this new statutory Disability Benefits Law with a training webinar from AmTrust North America.

Bonding Leave will soon be available to NY families under the new Paid Family Leave policy.

What is Bonding Leave?

The New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL) Bonding Coverage is designed to give individuals welcoming a new child into the home the financial security and personal time they need to make the transition and bonding process as smooth as possible.

Bonding Leave allows parents to take time to care for a child after a birth, adoption or foster care placement for the first year following the qualifying event. Both men and women will be eligible to take advantage of the new benefits.

Who is Eligible?

There are many ways to define “parent” when it comes to the modern-day family. The parent relationships covered by the policy include:

  • Biological mother and father
  • Domestic partner of birth mother
  • Spouse of birth mother
  • Step parent
  • Adoptive parent
  • Foster parent
  • Legal guardian
  • Loco parentis (court-ordered assumption of responsibility as a parent)

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

There are specific eligibility requirements for Bonding Coverage are specific to each circumstance of birth, adoption or foster care.

Birth event

Agents can help clients and their employees get prepared for the NY PFL policy now!
  • PFL cannot be paid until after the birth mother delivers the baby.
  • If the birth mother gives up the baby for adoption, then only she is eligible for Bonding Leave.
  • Entitlement to Bonding Leave begins on the date of birth and ends after 52 weeks.
  • Both Disability and Family Leave benefits can be received, but not at the same time.

Adoption/Foster care event

  • An employee may take Bonding Leave before placement or adoption of an adoptive-child or foster-child if an absence from work is required for placement to proceed. Examples of qualifying occurrences include but are not limited to: attending counseling sessions, appearing in court, attorney meetings, doctor appointments, submitting to a physical examination, and traveling to another country to complete an adoption.
  • Entitlement for Bonding Leave for adoption or foster care expires at the end of the consecutive 52-week period beginning on the date of the placement or from the first day of Bonding Leave.

What Claim Documents are Required?

The standardized state form – labeled PLF-2 – is used for Bonding Leave. Document requirements vary depending on the circumstance.

Biological parents

Birth mother’s documentation

  • A birth certificate with their name on it, or;
  • Documentation of pregnancy or birth from a doctor that includes the mother's name and the child's due date or birth date

 Parent other than birth mother

  • A birth certificate with their name on it, or;
  • A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or court order of filiation

If either of these documents are not available for the non-birth parent, then the employee must get a copy of documentation of pregnancy or birth from a doctor that includes:

  1. Mother's name
  2. Child's due date or birth date, and a second document verifying the parent's relationship with the birth mother or child (such as a marriage certificate, civil union documents or domestic partner documents)
  3. If these documents are not available, a parent may submit other evidence of parental relationship for evaluation on a case-by-case basis (for example: a paternity test result)

 Adoptive parents

  • A court document that shows the adoption is in process or is being finalized, including but not limited to:
    1. A signed statement from an attorney, adoption agency or adoption-related social service provider that shows the employee is in the adoption process
    2. If the employee’s name isn’t on this statement, they need to provide a document verifying their relationship to the parent named in the statement document (such as a marriage certificate, civil union documents or domestic partnership documents)

Foster parents

  • A letter of placement issued by the county or city department of social services or local volunteer agency
  • If the employee’s name is not on the placement document, they must provide a second document that verifies their relationship to the foster parent that is named in the placement document (such as a marriage certificate, civil union documents or domestic partnership documents).

More on the NY State Paid Family Leave Policy

The New York State Paid Family Leave Policy, Bonding Leave will likely be the most used of the three Paid Family Leave coverages. It provides both women and men the job and financial security they need while taking time to welcome a new child into their home.

To learn more about Statutory Disability Insurance from AmTrust Financial, contact us now.

You can help your clients get prepared before the policy goes into effect on January 1, 2018, with a Statutory Disability Insurance policy from AmTrust North America. To schedule a training webinar, please contact Joy Maas in our Disabilities Insurance department.


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