High volume leads to payout delay in family leave program
A high volume of applicants to Washington state’s new paid family leave law is creating a delay in processing applications and payouts of the weekly benefit.
Within the first three weeks of the program going live, more than 22,000 people have applied, which is the amount officials estimated they would receive in the first three months.
While their initial goal was to process all of the applications within two weeks of getting them, they had initially told applicants it could take up to 30 days.
But with the volume of applicants, a spokeswoman said the time frame could go beyond the 30 days soon.
Under the new law, eligible Washington state residents can take 12 to 18 weeks of paid family leave, so long as they’ve worked a minimum of 820 hours in a year.
This can be for reasons including personal medical issues, a serious illness of a qualifying family member, or a birth of a child.
When you take paid leave, you could receive up to 90 percent of your weekly pay — up to a maximum of $1,000 a week.
According to the state website, certain workers are not automatically eligible for paid leave, including:
- Federal employees
- People employed by businesses located on tribal land
- Self-employed people who choose not to opt in to the state program
- Other exceptions as outlined by state law
Learn more here.