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  • What are the benefits?

    Eligible Washington workers are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave starting Jan. 1, 2020. There are some limited circumstances where a worker may be eligible for up to 18 weeks of leave. The benefit is paid as partial wage replacement, so a worker could receive up to 90% of their average weekly wage while on leave.

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  • What do the benefits cover?

    When the benefits of Paid Family and Medical Leave become available in 2020, if you are eligible, you will be entitled to take up to 12 weeks (18 weeks in limited special circumstances) of paid leave. Washington's law includes partial wage replacement, and your benefits will depend on how much you earn in a typical week. 

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  • How much does it cost?

    Paid Family and Medical Leave is an insurance program funded through premiums paid by nearly everyone working in Washington and many of their employers. The rate for 2019 is 0.4 percent of a worker's wage, about 63 percent of which is paid by the worker and about 37 percent is paid by the employer. Employers can opt to cover some or all their employees' premiums. Premium collection began on Jan. 1, 2019. 

    Example: 

    • A worker makes $50,000 a year.
      • Worker pays about $2.44 a week.
      • Their employer pays about $1.41 a week.
      • Worker receives a benefit of about $778 per week when out on Paid Family and Medical Leave.

    Click here to estimate your premium

    Work at a small business? You're covered! Workers in businesses of all sizes are part of Paid Family and Medical Leave. 

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  • How do I manage my Paid Family & Medical Leave account?

    When you apply for benefits (starting in 2020), you will be able to set up a customer account with Employment Security Department to apply for and manage your claim. The application and benefit payment processes will be customer-focused, and we anticipate designing a simple, fast and friendly experience. This page will be updated with more information when it is available.

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  • How do employers submit reports?

    Once you’ve created an employer account, there are two options for submitting quarterly reports:

    Manual entry. You will manually enter the name, SSN or ITIN, hours worked, and wages paid separately for each employee. You can do this for up to 50 employees. Watch the tutorial video or read the instructions below.

    File upload. You will compile the name, SSN or ITIN, hours worked, and wages paid of each employee into a single CSV file (like an Excel spreadsheet). Download the CSV file specifications and instructions for creating your file, and then test your file on our testing page. Watch the tutorial video or read the instructions below.

    To submit reports, log-in to your Paid Leave account. From the employer homepage, click “Wage Reporting” in the menu bar and select “Submit Quarterly Wages”.

    Throughout the reporting screens, there’s a bar at the top of the page that shows you where you are in the process.

    Select Filing Method

    1. Under “Reporting Period”, use the drop-down menus to select the quarter and year for which you are reporting.
    2. Under “Filing Methods”, select the method you intend to use.

    Provide Wage Details: Manual Entry

    1. If you select “Manual Entry”, you will see a new section called “Wage Detail Records”. Required fields are marked with a red asterisk. You can click on the blue “i” icon next to any field to get more information about what should be entered. Enter the required information for your first employee and click “Save”.
    2. Continue entering each employee, up to 50 total, in the “Wage Detail Records” section, clicking “Save” after each entry.
    3. All employee information will be listed in a table below the “Clear” and “Save” buttons. If you need to edit or delete an employee record, you can do so by selecting the blue “Edit” or “Delete” link in the right columns of the table.
    4. When you have finished entering all employees and have reviewed the summary table for accuracy, click “Next”.
    5. In the “Employment and Wage Detail Report Summary” section, enter the total premiums withheld for all employees in the “Total Employee Premiums Withheld” field.
    6. Read the “Employment and Wage Detail Certification”, click the checkbox next to the certification statement, and click “Submit.”

    Provide Wage Details: File Upload

    1. If you select “File Upload”, you will see a new section called “File Format”. Select the radio button next to, “Delimited”. Find more information about CSV file formats and how to format your report.
    2. Under “Choose a File”, click “Browse”, then locate and select your wage report file on your computer.
    3. After selecting the file, enter the total premiums withheld for all employees in the “Premium Withholding” section, then click “Next” to submit your report.

    Submission Confirmation

    1. Note the confirmation number for your records and click, “Home”

     

    After you submit your report, you can check the status by selecting “Wage Submission History” from the “Wage Reporting” menu option.

    On the “Wage Submission History” page, each of your reports will be listed in a table where you can see the submission date, submission type, year, quarter and status, among other details. There are two or three possible options under “Status”. Depending on the number of employers submitting reports at any point, it may take some time for the status of your report to change.

    • Submitted: The report was successfully submitted, and the system is processing it.
    • Rejected: The system attempted to accept the file but found an error. You will need to download the error report by clicking the blue link in the “Record Errors” column,  correct your report and upload again. (This status applies to reports submitted through file upload only). Read more about common report errors and how to correct them.
    • Processed: The report was successfully submitted, and the system completed processing it.
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  • How do employer agents submit reports?

    PLEASE NOTE: Between July 1 and the end of July, to file and pay on behalf of a client, employer agents must either have a signed power of attorney (POA), or file via ICESA.

    Employer agents without signed Paid Family and Medical Leave power of attorney (POA) forms for their clients can still submit quarterly reports using an ICESA file. Read more information on the specifications for your ICESA file.

    Once your ICESA file is formatted according to our specifications, log-in to your Paid Leave employer agent account through SAW and select “Submit Quarterly Wages” from the “Wage Reporting” menu.

    Throughout the reporting screens, there’s a bar at the top of the page that shows you where you are in the process.

    Select Filing Method

    1. Under “Reporting Period”, use the drop-down menus to select the quarter and year for which you are reporting.
    2. Under “Filing Methods”, select “File Upload”.

    Provide Wage Details

    1. Under “Choose a File”, click “Browse”, then locate and select your ICESA file on your computer.
    2. Click, “Next”.

    Submission Confirmation

    1. Note the confirmation number for your records and click, “Home”

     

    After you submit your report, you can check the status by selecting “Wage Submission History” from the “Wage Reporting” menu option.

    On the “Wage Submission History” page, each of your reports will be listed in a table where you can see the submission date, submission type, year, quarter and status, and other details. Depending on the number of employers submitting reports at any point, it may take some time for the status of your report to change. There are three possible options under “Status”:

    Submitted: The report was successfully submitted, and the system is processing it.

    Rejected: The system attempted to accept the file but found an error. You will need to download the error report by clicking the blue link in the “Record Errors” column,  correct your report and upload again. Read more about common report errors and how to correct them.

    Processed: The report was successfully submitted, and the system completed processing it.

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  • How do employers correct errors in a report?

    Before you begin, please note:

    • You will need to verify your account with a PIN before you can file an amendment; amendments are not an option with limited access. Read more about the PIN verification process.
    • Your amended report will replace your original submission, so it must include all the details from your initial report, not just the corrected information.
    • Your initial report needs to be processed before it’s possible to submit an amendment. (Once your report has been processed, its status in the table on the “Wage Submission History” page will say, “Processed”.)

    There are a couple of methods for submitting amendments, and they depend on how you initially reported.

    Begin by selecting “Amend Wage Report” from the “Wage Reporting” drop-down list on the menu bar.

    1. Under “Prior Quarter Search”, select the year and quarter of the report you need to amend.
    2. In the “Search Results” table, locate the report and click the blue “Amend” link in the first column of the table.
    3. Under “”Filing Methods”, select the filing method you would like to use for your amendment and click, “Next”.
      • If you filed the initial report using manual entry, you can amend using either manual entry or CSV file upload.
      • If you filed the initial report using file upload, you need to use file upload for your amendment.
    4. Submit your amendment; refer to the reporting instructions when needed.
    5. On the “Wage Detail Adjustment Reason Verification” page, use the drop-down menu to select the reason for your amendment. Options include:
      • Employer and Wages amended because of incorrectly reported wages or hours
      • Wages amended because employee(s) were mistakenly included/excluded
      • Employment and wages amended to correct computer system, data entry or accounting errors
      • SSN or name changed
      • Employment and Wages amended as a result of an audit
      • Other
    6. Click “Next”. Note the confirmation number for your records. Click “Home” to return to your homepage.
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  • What are the eligibility requirements?

    To qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave, you must work 820 hours or more in the qualifying period. The qualifying period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters starting from the day you intend to take leave.

    This benefit cannot be taken without a qualifying event. Leave events can be either Family or Medical.

    Family Leave

    • Care and bond after a baby’s birth or the placement of a child younger than 18
    • Care for a family member experiencing an illness or medical event
    • Certain military-connected events

    Medical Leave

    • Care for yourself in relation to an illness or medical event
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  • Am I eligible for benefits?

    Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits will be available starting Jan. 1, 2020.

    To qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave, you must work 820 hours or more in the qualifying period. The qualifying period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters starting from when you make your claim for benefits.

    This benefit cannot be taken without a qualifying event. Leave events can be either Family or Medical.

    Family Leave

    • Care and bond after a baby’s birth or the placement of a child younger than 18
    • Care for a family member experiencing an illness or medical event
    • Certain military-connected events

    Medical Leave

    • Care for yourself in relation to an illness or medical event
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  • Is participation in the program mandatory?

    Generally, yes: Nearly everyone who works in Washington will participate in the program.

    Exceptions include workers who are:

    • Federal employees.
    • Employed by a federally recognized tribe.
    • Subject to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that was in existence on or before Oct. 19, 2017.
    • Self-employed.

    Important details:

    • Self-employed people may opt in to gain access to the benefit.
    • Employees covered under a CBA that was in existence on or before Oct. 19, 2017 are not subject to the rights or responsibilities of paid family and medical leave until the agreement is reopened, renegotiated, or expires. You will not pay premiums or be eligible for leave until the CBA is reopened, renegotiated, or expires.
    • Some employers may choose to offer benefits through a private plan called a voluntary plan. If your employer has an approved voluntary plan, they are required to offer benefits that are equal to or greater than the state plan.
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