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Paid Leave Oregon: What is it and How to Apply

Paid Leave Oregon: What is it and How to Apply

Paid Leave Oregon: What is it and How to Apply


Paid Leave Oregon is a new program created for Oregon residents that allows individuals to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year for medical, family or safety reasons. Examples include maternity/paternity leave, caring for a sick family member, or fleeing domestic violence. The program started accepting sign ups for self-employed people on January 1, 2023 and full benefits become available to applicants in September 2023


The program works similarly to unemployment: all employees and businesses larger than 25 employees contribute to the program fund via payroll deductions on each paycheck. However, self-employed people are not automatically covered. In order to be covered, self-employed people must sign up and start contributing. 


What are the requirements?


To be covered by Paid Leave Oregon, a self-employed individual must:


  • Earn at least $1,000 in taxable income from self employment in the previous calendar year
  • Complete a notice of election
  • Provide proof of self employment via tax return
  • Agree to pay contributions to the program for 3 years
  • Furnish additional information to the program upon request

How much do you pay?


Contributions are paid quarterly at a rate of 0.6% of annual taxable income. If you already pay taxes quarterly, it’s an easy additional step to add on to your usual process.


What are the benefits?


The amount of benefits received is determined by an individual’s average income from the previous year and contributions paid. Everyone is allowed up to 12 weeks of paid leave, with an additional 2 weeks available for pregnancy related leave.


Can you receive benefits right away?


You can receive full benefits after paying contributions for a full year. If you’ve been paying for less than a year, you’ll receive reduced benefits. In most cases, self-employed people must have coverage for at least one quarter to be eligible for some benefits.


How long is the commitment for paid leave coverage?


Self-employed individuals must agree to pay into the program for at least 3 years. You may only cancel within the first three years if you are no longer self employed or have filed for bankruptcy. After three years of program participation, you can cancel at any time.

Bottom Line: If you’re an Oregon resident, we highly suggest signing up for Paid Leave Oregon. It allows you the peace of mind to take the time off you need while not missing out on a large chunk of income. The application process is fairly straightforward. If you’d like more information about the program and/or would like to sign up, please visit https://paidleave.oregon.gov/.

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