Bonding with Your Foster Child
Foster mothers and fathers, including same-sex parents can take job-protected, paid time off to bond with their newly fostered child within the first 12 months of the child’s placement.
Some important information about Paid Family Leave for bonding with your newly adopted child:
- If you have been notified of a pending placement, you may be able to take Paid Family Leave before the actual placement of a child if an absence from work is required for the placement to proceed.
- 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.
You may be eligible to take up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave at 67 percent of your pay, up to a cap. 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.
- You must notify your employer at least 30 days before the start of leave if foreseeable; otherwise, notify them 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.
Important notes regarding intermittent leave: The maximum number of leave days you can take is based on the average number of days you work per week. For example, if you work an average of three days per week, you can take a maximum of 36 days of Paid Family Leave (3 days x 12 weeks). 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.
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 Newly Born, Adopted or Fostered 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)
You will need a foster care placement letter issued by the county or city department of social services or authorized voluntary foster care agency.
If you are not the parent named in the placement letter, you must also provide proof verifying your relationship to the parent named in the placement letter, such as: marriage certificate, civil union, or domestic partner document.
- 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, you will need to file a Request for Paid Family Leave form as well as documentation in support of your Paid Family Leave request.
- You will need a foster care placement letter issued by the county or city department of social services or authorized voluntary foster care agency.
- If you are not the parent named in the placement letter, you must also provide proof verifying your relationship to the parent named in the placement letter, such as: marriage certificate, civil union, or domestic partner document.
Contact PFL Helpline
For more information, call the Paid Family Leave toll-free helpline Monday-Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm EST.