Before you apply

Before you apply

Preparing to apply for Paid Leave?

1. Are you eligible?

Answer a few quick questions to see if now is the right time to apply for Paid Family and Medical Leave.

2. Tell your employer.

If you know you will be taking Paid Leave well before it happens, you will need to give your employer written notice at least 30 days in advance.

If you need to take Paid Leave unexpectedly, you still need to provide written notice to your employer as soon as you are able. Or ask someone else, like a family member or a neighbor, to provide notice for you.

In your written notice, let your employer know about how long you expect you will be out. Emails, text messages and handwritten notes all count as written notice. It is always a good idea to keep a copy for your records.

Download sample written notification

3. Get your documents ready.

To apply, you will need to provide documents that prove your identity and your eligibility for leave:

Proof of ID: This can include a driver’s license, passport, utility bills and more. See complete list of acceptable documents here.

Other documentation depends on the type of leave you are applying for:

For medical leave and for family leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, including medical events related to pregnancy or childbirth, you must provide ONE of the following:

  1. Certification of a Serious Health Condition form filled out by you and your healthcare provider. It can take two weeks or more for your doctor’s office to process this paperwork, so be sure to submit it to them as soon as possible. Download forms.
  2. Your Family Medical Leave Act form
  3. A doctor’s note. Just make sure it includes the same information as the Certification of Serious Health Condition form.

For military family leave: Documentation that shows eligibility for military family leave, like active duty orders.

For family leave to bond with a child who was born into your family: Both parents can use our Certification of Birth form. If you give birth to a child and apply for medical leave before bonding leave, you can use the Certification of Serious Health Condition form for both applications if the form reflects your child’s actual date of birth (not due date). Download forms.

For family leave to bond with a child who was adopted or placed in your family: You will need to provide court documents to show foster care, or other documentation that shows the adoption or guardianship placement date, like a letter from a social worker or agency. Download forms.

After your qualifying event takes place and you have gathered your documents, you are ready to apply for leave!