Disability & Paid Family Leave

During your pregnancy and postpartum, you may qualify for both Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave. For San Francisco employees, you may also qualify for San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance.


What is State Disability Insurance? Pregnant women can take leave for any disability that is pregnancy related if she is unable to perform her essential job duties due to the disability or if those job duties would place her or her pregnancy at risk. The State will also allow women to take off 4 weeks prior to her due date for normal pregnancies.

After delivery, regardless of when a woman stopped working during the pregnancy, the State allows for time off up to 6 weeks for vaginal deliveries and 8 weeks for Cesarean sections.

How much the state will pay you depends on your earnings leading up to your maternity leave. This link will give you an idea of how much you can expect to get paid.

How to Apply for State Disability Insurance

The State is no longer accepting ‘future’ dated claims. You will need to file your claim on the “start” date of your maternity leave, or you have up to 49 days to file from your “start” date. The first 7 days of any disability is NOT paid and is considered a “waiting” period. The State will pay you beginning on day 8 of your disability leave.

Also, while filing your claim you will need to indicate your last day worked in addition to your ‘start’ date. These two dates cannot be the same as you cannot be disabled and be working. (Ex: If you last day of work is on a Thursday, you list your start date as the following day, Friday).  If you do put the same date your claim will be null and you will be required to file a brand new claim with appropriate dates.
If you are planning on filing with the state for your disability, it is recommended to go online to start your claim. Please visit www.edd.ca.gov and click on  “File for State Disability” located under the File & Manage a Claim heading. From there please select the SDI Online Registration to begin your claim. SDI (Form DE2501). Once you have completed your portion, you will be given a RECEIPT NUMBER. Please email this number to our Disability Coordinator, Cynthia Vela-Hewitt at cynthia@goldengateobgyn.org.

If you have Employer Disability Forms. please email them to Cynthia at cynthia@goldengateobgyn.org, or fax them directly to her at (415) 230-2379. Be sure to indicate your last day of work, and the “start” date of your disability leave.

What is Paid Family Leave (PFL)?

Paid Family Leave (PFL), also known as Baby Bonding, is six weeks of leave for any new parents of a biological child, an adoptive child or a foster child, and is paid by the State. You may utilize this six weeks of leave during the first year of the baby’s life, adoption, or within the first year of foster care.  PFL can be started after the end of your disability insurance.

You do not have to take your 6 weeks of PFL consecutively. You may take a few weeks here and there as long as you take it within the first year. Any leave requested after the first year is not paid by the State. It’s a “use it or lose it” concept.

How to Apply for Paid Family Leave

There is no need for your provider to fill out PFL forms. You may fill it out and mail it to the State.  You can find the online application here.

For patients utilizing their PFL benefits in conjunction with their SDI benefits, the State will send you these forms once your disability leave ends (your disability leave will end 6 weeks after birth for vaginal deliveries or 8 weeks after birth for Cesarean deliveries).  For people taking Paid Family Leave (PFL) that is not in conjunction with a maternity-disability leave (for example: partners and adoptive parents), the first 7 days of PFL is not paid by the State as it is considered a “waiting period”.

What is San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO)?

The PPLO requires that employers provide supplemental compensation for employees who are receiving Paid Family Leave benefits for bonding with a new child. To be eligible upon the birth or adoption of a child, an employee must work at least 8 hours per week and conduct at least 40% of his or her work within the city of San Francisco. Leave will be provided to both mothers and fathers, same-sex and opposite-sex couples.  For employers who offer a more generous paid parental leave benefit, San Francisco’s law will not apply.

If your company has a more generous parental leave policy in place, this may not apply to you. For everyone else working in San Francisco in a company with 20 or more employees, this will apply. Currently, benefits available under State PFL program are currently capped at $1,173 per week, which is 55% of $2,133 per week. An employer is not required to provide Supplemental Compensation that exceeds the state cap on PFL benefits. (For example: an employee who receives the maximum State PFL benefit of $1,173 per week, an employer’s Supplemental Compensation obligation under SF PPLO will be capped at $960 per week, which is 45% of $2,133 per week). That means people who make $110,916 or less a year will receive full paid leave during those six weeks, but those who earn more than that will receive less than full paid leave.

Remember, an employer’s obligation to provide supplemental compensation will not occur until you provide them what your PFL weekly benefit amount is.

As a precondition to receiving Supplemental Compensation, eligible employees are required to sign a form requiring them to reimburse the employer for the full amount of Supplemental Compensation received if you voluntarily separate from your company within 90 days of the end of your leave.

How to Apply for PPLO?

For more information about San Francisco’s PPLO and to access the necessary forms please visit their website.  On the supplemental coverage form, it is recommended by the State that you provide or authorize the state to disclose this information to your employer (section 2, check both options 1 & 2).

For further questions about your specific leave, please contact Cynthia by phone at, 415.831.2173 or by email at cynthia@goldengateobgyn.org. Cynthia can also be found on our patient portal!