How Are My PFL Benefits Calculated?

To calculate your benefit, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) will look at your wages during a 12-month base period. The base period is the first four of the most recent five quarters before you filed your claim. For example, if you file your claim in January of 2018, the base period will start backwards from September 30, 2017 to October 1, 2016. In other words, your earnings from the most recent quarter will not be included in the calculation. So, if you got a raise in the last few months, it will not be factored into your PFL benefits.

The EDD will then take the quarter in which you earned the highest wages and divide by 13, the number of weeks in the quarter. Your weekly benefits are 60% to 70% of this amount, depending on your income.

Only wages subject to California’s state-disability insurance (SDI) taxes are included in the calculation. For example, withholdings for health insurance premiums or a retirement account typically are not counted.

Example: William applies for paid family leave in April of 2017 after the birth of his daughter. His 12-month base period is from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016. In his highest quarter, he earned $19,500 (not including anything withholdings not subject to SDI tax). The EDD will divide this by 13 to get an average wage of $1,500 per week. William's benefit will be between 60% to 70% of that amount, or between $900 to $1,050 per week.

Go back to main page of California Paid Family Leave FAQ

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