Help Your NY Clients Cover the Cost of Military Family PFL

Topics: Agent Resources New York Paid Family Leave

Serving in the U.S. Military brings with it a great honor. But it also comes with great sacrifices, obstacles, and pressures for a service member’s family. That is why it’s so essential for families to be prepared for the huge lifestyle and personal changes that come with active military duty deployment.

Beginning January 1, 2018, New York State families will enjoy a new statewide Paid Family Leave. This coverage is designed to ensure financial stability for families who need extra time with their loved ones before, during, or after active duty. While this leave is currently included in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 29 U.S.C.S 2612(a)(1)(e) and 29 C.F.R. 825.126(b)(1)-(9), the new benefits are a bit extended.

As just one part of the New York State Paid Family Leave policy, all families can also use the policy to welcome a new child into the home or to take care of a family member with a serious health condition.

Keep reading to learn more about Paid Family Military Leave, then help your clients get prepared with a Statutory Disabilities Insurance policy. For more information on New York State Paid Family Leave and how it might affect your clients, contact Joy Maas at AmTrust North America today.

What Qualifies as Care for a Family Member in the Armed Forces?

The Military Family Leave benefit covers employees with a qualify exigency (necessity, emergency, or demand) that arises from a family member serving in the armed forces. This includes an employee’s family member who is currently on active duty or one who has been notified that they will soon be called into active duty.

Ensure your clients are informed about the requirements of NY PFL before January 1st.
  • Who is eligible to take Military Family Leave?

The spouse, domestic partner, child or parent of the employee is eligible for this leave.

  • What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible, a qualifying exigency must occur. The New York PFL uses the FMLA’s definition of a “qualifying exigency” which includes, but is not limited to:

  •  Short-notice deployments of up to seven days to address issues resulting from the notification of an impending call to active duty
  • Military events and related activities such as ceremonies, programs, events, or information briefings related to active duty or a call to active duty
  • Child care and school activities
  •  Counseling related to active duty or the call to active duty, provided by someone other than a doctor
  • Rest and recuperation for up to five days during deployment
  • Post-deployment activities such as reintegration events up to 90 days after active duty ends or dealing with the death of a service member
  • Additional service-related activities as agreed to by the employer
  • What are the required claim documents for a military exigency?

A standardized state form – labeled PLF-5 – is used for a military exigency. For each instance for caring for a family member in the U.S. Armed Forces, specific information is required.

family member in the U.S. Armed Forces

Active duty orders

The employee may need to provide a copy of the military member's active duty orders or other documents issued by the military showing that the member is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status, as well as the dates of the military member's covered active duty service.

This information only needs to be provided once to the carrier or self-insured employer. If a qualifying exigency arises out of a different covered active duty or call to covered active duty status (or notification of an impending call or order to covered active duty) of the same or a different military member, a copy of new orders or documents from the military may be needed.

Required information

1. A statement or description, signed by the employee, of the facts regarding the qualifying exigency for which PFL is requested. Information on the type of qualifying exigency for which leave is requested and any available written documentation which supports the request for leave; for example:

  • A copy of a meeting announcement for informational briefings sponsored by the military
  • A document confirming an appointment with a counselor or school official
  • A copy of a bill for services for the handling of legal or financial affairs

2. The date when the qualifying exigency commenced or will start:

  • If the request is for a single, continuous time period, the beginning and end dates the absence is needed.
  • If the request is for an intermittent basis, an estimate of the frequency and length of the qualifying exigency is needed.

3. If the qualifying exigency involves meeting with a third party:

  • Appropriate contact information for the individual or entity with whom the employee is meeting (such as the name, title, organization, address, telephone number, fax number, and email address) and a brief description of the purpose of the meeting

4. If the qualifying exigency involves rest and recuperation leave, the following information is required:

  • A copy of the military member's rest and recuperation orders, or other military issued documents that show the military member has been given rest and recuperation leave
  • The dates of the rest and recuperation leave

Verification

If an employee submits a complete and sufficient certification to support his or her request for leave because of a qualifying exigency, the carrier or self-insured employer cannot request additional information from the employee.

Are your NY clients prepared to cover military families PFL? Contact us to find out how to get ready for the bill!
If the qualifying exigency involves meeting with a third party, the carrier or self-insured employer may contact the individual or entity with whom the employee is meeting to verify the appointment schedule and the reason for the meeting between the employee and the specified individual or entity.

The employee's permission is not required to verify meetings or appointments with third parties, but no additional information may be requested by the carrier or self-insured employer.

A carrier or self-insured employer also may reach out to the appropriate unit of the Department of Defense to ask for verification that a military member is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty). No additional information may be requested, and the employee's permission is not required.

More on the New York State Paid Family Leave Policy

Although the Paid Family Leave benefit for a military exigency will likely be the least used of the three PFL areas of coverage, it plays an important role in providing the families of military service women and men the job and financial security they need while taking time to attend to the issues resulting from active duty.

For this reason, it’s important for agents to ensure that their clients are covered and prepared for the law to go into effect on January 1, 2018. To schedule a training webinar and learn more about Statutory Disabilities Insurance for your clients, contact Joy Maas from AmTrust North America.

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