Bonding with Your New Baby
Mothers and fathers, including same-sex parents, can take job-protected, paid time off to bond with their newborn within the first 12 months of the child’s birth.
Some important information about Paid Family Leave for bonding with your new baby:
- Paid Family Leave may only begin after birth and is not available for prenatal conditions.
- Parents who work for the same employer and want to take Paid Family Leave at the same time may do so unless their employer objects.
- Your employer’s insurance carrier will receive and process requests for Paid Family Leave, and make your benefit payments.
In 2021, you may be eligible to take up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave. See below for complete instructions on how to apply.
Estimate your Paid Family Leave benefits
How to Apply
Requesting Paid Family Leave is easy. Start by planning your leave:
- Leave can be taken either all at once or intermittently, but must be taken in full-day increments. Note: If you take intermittent leave and more than three months pass between days of Paid Family Leave, your next day or period of PFL is considered a new claim under the law. This means you will need to submit a new Request for Paid Family Leave.
- You must notify your employer at least 30 days before the start of leave if foreseeable; otherwise, notify your employer as soon as possible.
- Employees who hold more than one job may take Paid Family Leave from both jobs, but they must do so with both employers at the same time.
Once you're ready to apply, follow these three steps:
- COLLECT YOUR FORMS AND DOCUMENTATION
The forms are available from your employer, employer’s insurance carrier or you may download: Bond with a Newborn, a Newly Adopted or Foster Child (Forms PFL-1 & PFL-2)
The form package for bonding leave includes the following forms:
Request for Paid Family Leave (Form PFL-1)
Bonding Certification (Form PFL-2)
- Birth Mother
A copy of the child’s birth certificate, if available, or an original copy of a health care provider certification of birth.
- Parent Other Than Birth Mother
A copy of the child’s birth certificate, if available, naming you as the second parent, a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (Form LDSS-4418), or a Court Order of Filiation.
Same documentation as birth mother and a second document verifying the relationship to the birth mother (for example, marriage certificate, civil union, or domestic partner document).
- Birth Mother
- COMPLETE & ATTACH
- FORM PFL-1
Form PFL-1 has sections that need to be completed by you and by your employer.
- Fill out your section.
- Make a copy and give the form to your employer.
- Your employer is required to return Form PFL-1 to you within three business days.
- If your employer fails to return the form to you, submit the Form PFL-1 that you have filled out, along with the rest of your request package, to your employer’s insurance carrier.
- FORM PFL-2
- Complete Form PFL-2.
- Attach copies of your supporting documentation.
- FORM PFL-1
- SUBMIT TO INSURANCE CARRIER
You must submit your completed request package to your employer's insurance carrier within 30 days after the start of your leave to avoid losing benefits.
If you cannot get documentation to support a leave request within this timeframe, the insurance carrier can deny the request.
Mail or fax your Form PFL-1, Form PFL-2, and all supporting documentation to your employer’s insurance carrier.
To find out who your employer’s insurance carrier is, you can:
- Look for the Paid Family Leave poster in your workplace.
- Ask your employer.
- Search your employer’s name to look up their insurance carrier.
If you cannot find your employer’s insurance carrier, call the Paid Family Leave Helpline for assistance: (844) 337-6303. The Helpline is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
If you believe your employer is uninsured, you can submit your request for Paid Family Leave to the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board:
NYS Workers’ Compensation Board
Paid Family Leave
PO Box 9030,
Endicott, NY 13761-9030
In most cases, the insurance carrier must pay or deny benefits within 18 calendar days of receiving your completed request or your first day of leave, whichever is later. Your request cannot be considered incomplete solely because your employer failed to fill out Form PFL-1 Part B within three business days.
If you have a question regarding the status of your request, contact your employer's insurance carrier.
If you disagree with the insurance carrier's decision:
You may request arbitration for a denial or any other PFL claim-related dispute, such as timeliness of the carrier’s payment.
Arbitration for Paid Family Leave is handled by NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation).
If you are denied or partially denied for Paid Family Leave, your insurance carrier (or employer, if self-insured) must provide you with the reason for denial and information about requesting arbitration, or you can visit the arbitrator’s website at https://nyspfla.namadr.com.
If your request for Paid Family Leave is denied and you have already started your leave, you are not considered to be on Paid Family Leave, and it will be up to your employer to determine how to treat the time off.
For details on how to request arbitration view:
If you need further assistance, call the Paid Family Leave Helpline at (844) 337-6303.
In most cases, the insurance carrier will pay benefits or deny your claim within 18 days of receiving your completed request or your first day of leave, whichever is later. After the initial payment, payments are made biweekly. Your insurance carrier may provide options for how you will be paid, for example, via direct deposit, debit card or paper check.
Note: Pursuant to the Department of Tax Notice No. N-17-12 [PDF], Paid Family Leave benefits are taxable. Taxes will not automatically be withheld from benefits, but employees can request voluntary tax withholding. Questions related to the taxability of Paid Family Leave contributions should be referred to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.
When requesting Paid Family Leave for bonding with your new baby you will need to provide documentation that proves you are the child's parent.
The documentation that you must provide depends on your relationship to the newborn child.
- Birth certificate, if available, or
- Documentation of pregnancy or birth from a health care provider (includes mother’s name and due/birth dates)
Parent Other Than Birth Mother
- Birth certificate, if available, or
- Voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or court order of filiation; or
- A copy of documentation of pregnancy or birth from a health care provider (includes mother's name and due/birth dates) and a second document verifying the parent's relationship with the birth mother or child
In a same-sex relationship and only one parent or neither parent is the biological parent:
A parent who is not the birth mother must submit documentation establishing their legal role as the child’s parent, and demonstrating their relationship to the birth mother.
Acceptable forms of documentation include:
- Legal role as child’s parent – birth certificate, Court Order of Filiation, or Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity naming that parent
- Relationship to birth mother – marriage certificate, or evidence of a civil union or domestic partnership
- If none of these documents are available, a parent may submit other documentary evidence of parental relationship to the child, to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
PFL and Other Types of Benefits
Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA):
If you have an event that qualifies for leave under both FMLA and Paid Family Leave and your employer is covered under both laws, your leave should run concurrently.
For example, in 2019, if you are eligible to take 12 weeks of leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, the first ten weeks would be classified as both Paid Family Leave and FMLA, and the remaining two weeks would be classified as FMLA leave.
In order for the two types of leaves to run together, your employer must notify you that your leave qualifies for both FMLA and Paid Family Leave and that it will be designated as such.
If you have a qualifying event for FMLA and a different qualifying event for Paid Family Leave (for example, caring for your own medical condition using time with FMLA and bonding with a new child using Paid Family Leave), you may take these leaves at different times.
After giving birth, new mothers may be eligible for both short-term disability benefits and Paid Family Leave. While the two benefits cannot be taken at the same time, eligible employees can choose how they can use both benefits to support the needs of their families.
For example, if a new mother qualifies for short-term disability after giving birth, she can choose to:
- Immediately take all or any portion of her available short-term disability weeks and then take Paid Family Leave at any time within the first 12 months; or,
- Take Paid Family Leave immediately, without taking any short-term disability.
You cannot take more than 26 weeks of combined short-term disability and Paid Family Leave in a 52-week period.
Maternity Leave/Paternity Leave:
Check with your employer on how Paid Family Leave works with your employer’s leave policies.
If I completed paperwork for short-term disability, do I still need to do it for Paid Family Leave?
If you are requesting short-term disability and Paid Family Leave, you have to complete separate requests for each. These are separate benefits, which are not taken at the same time, and which require separate documentation from you and your employer.
For more information on how Paid Family Leave interacts with these and other benefits, visit:
Contact PFL Helpline
For more information, call the Paid Family Leave toll-free helpline Monday-Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm EST.