Paid Family Leave for DC Workers

DC's Universal Paid Family Leave program is now live. This allows DC workers to take paid leave to care for a new child, a family member, or themselves.

Helpful Links:


What Does Paid Family Leave Cover?

Parental Leave (8 Weeks)

  • Your biological child was born in the past year
  • A child was placed with you for adoption in the past year
  • A child was placed with you for foster care in the past year
  • You legally assumed parental responsibility for a child in the past year.

The "past year" for parental leave means one year from the calendar date on which the event occurred. For example, if a child was placed with you on August 4, 2020, you would have until August 3, 2021 to take leave and receive Paid Family Leave benefits for that leave. You can receive parental leave benefits for up to 8 weeks

Click to download the DOES Paid Family Leave Parental Roadmap.

Family Leave (6 Weeks)

Paid Family Leave allows you to receive wage-replacement benefits to care for your family in difficult times. You can only receive family leave benefits if you will be providing care or companionship to your family member with a serious health condition. You can receive benefits for up to 6 weeks in a year.  

Eligible family members to whom you may provide care or companionship and receive family leave benefits, include: 

  • Your child
  • Your parent
  • Your grandparent
  • Your spouse
  • Your sibling

Serious health conditions include:

  • Your condition involved an overnight stay (or longer) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility.
  • Your condition caused an inability for you to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities for three full days or longer, and also required the attention of a doctor within 10 days after symptoms began.
  • Your condition is a chronic condition that causes you to occasionally have an inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities and that requires you to seek treatment from a health care provider at least twice a year.
  • Your condition is an incurable condition for which treatment may not be effective and that causes you to permanently have an inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities.
  • You require surgery to regain physical ability (for example, the ability to walk or lift your arms) after an accident or injury and require multiple treatments related to that accident or injury. 
  • You require multiple medical treatments by medical providers in order to avoid symptoms that would cause you to be unable to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities for at least three full days (for example, you have been diagnosed with cancer, but are not currently experiencing symptoms).
  • You are pregnant and have an inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities due to your pregnancy, or you need to miss work in order to attend prenatal care appointments with medical providers.

Click here for complete details from DOES on qualifying medical conditions.

Personal Medical Leave (2 Weeks)

Medical leave benefits are available if you have a serious health condition that prevents you physically or mentally from working or performing regular activities of daily living. You can receive personal medical leave benefits for up to 2 weeks in a year. 

See above for an abbreviated list of qualifying medical conditions. Click here for complete details from DOES on qualifying conditions.


How to Apply

Checklist for Benefits Application:

  • Tell your employer
  • Provide basic information
  • Gather necessary documents, including a driver's license or social security number, healthcare provider information, and health condition details. A full list of documents can be found here

Applying:

When you are ready to apply for benefits, you can do so online by visiting the Paid Family Leave benefits portal.

  1. Select “not registered” to set up your new account. 
  2. Under Option 2, select “create an account” and agree to the privacy agreement. 
  3. Proceed to enter the necessary information to register and file a claim. 

Want to request a paper application? Contact DOES at does.opfl@dc.gov or by phone at (202) 899-3700.  

After You Apply:

The Office of Paid Family Leave (OPFL) will contact you within 10 business days. During those 10 days, OPFL staff will review your application and notify your employer that you have filed a claim for Paid Family Leave benefits. After OPFL has made a decision on your claim, OPFL will notify you about your claim in the preferred method you selected in your application (by email or postal mail). 


Who Can I Talk to About My Rights?

DC Department of Employment Services Office of Paid Family Leave
4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20019
Phone: 202-899-3700 || Email: does.ofpl@dc.gov   ||  Website: dcpaidfamilyleave.dc.gov

Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia
Social Justice Section 441 4th St. NW Suite 630S Washington, D.C. 20001
Phone: 202-442-9828   ||  Website: oag.dc.gov/worker-rights

First Shift Justice Project 
Phone: 240-241-0897 Ext. 1 for English and Other Languages; Ext. 2 for Spanish. || Email at intake@firstshift.org Website: firstshift.org/

Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
Phone: 202-319-1000   ||  Email: clinic@washlaw.org   ||  Website: washlaw.org

DC Jobs with Justice
Phone: 202-285-8753  ||  Email: Nikko@dcjwj.org   ||  Website: dcjwj.org

Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) of DC 
Website: rocunited.org/dc  ||  Email: dc@rocunited.org

Ethiopian Community Center
Website: ethiopiancommunitydc.org/   ||  Email: info@ethiopiancommunitydc.org