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Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave


What is Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave?

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave is a state run program that provides paid leave for individuals to recover from illness, maternity/paternity leave, military deployment and caregiving.

Most qualifying events are eligible for up to 12 weeks, with childbirth and maternity care receiving up to 16 weeks and recovery from pregnancy and/or birth complications receiving up to 18 weeks.

The system works similarly to unemployment in that premiums are paid by people into the system. While employees are automatically enrolled, self employed are not. Like in Oregon, self employed people must opt into the program. Self employed people pay premiums into the system quarterly at a rate of 0.58% for the first three years, with the option for annual payments after that.

Am I self-employed?

To be considered self-employed, you must be one of the following:

  • A sole proprietor
  • A joint venturer or a member of a partnership
  • A member of a limited liability company (LLC)
  • An independent contractor
  • Otherwise in business for yourself.

Note that corporate officers are not considered self-employed.

How to apply:

The process is simple: you’ll need to create an elective coverage account and fill out the application. Coverage becomes effective at the start of the following quarter. Once that quarter is complete, you can file wage reports and pay premiums

When can I receive benefits?

You’ll be eligible to receive benefits after completing your first quarter of coverage if:

  • You’ve worked 820 hours or more after elective coverage becomes effective
  • Have 820 or more hours in your qualifying period and
  • Have a qualifying event

For more information and application visit:

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