California’s Paid Family Leave Program for Self-Employed Individuals

(last updated October 2023)
Is it Available?


Who’s Eligible?
  • Own your own business, be self-employed, or working as an independent contractor.
  • Have a minimum net profit of $4,600 annually.
  • Possess a valid active license, if required by your occupation.
  • Be able to perform all of your normal duties on a full-time basis at the time your application is submitted.
  • Derive the major portion of your income from your trade, business, or occupation.
  • Business cannot be seasonal.
  • Stay in the program for two complete calendar years unless you discontinue your business or move out of California.
Employee/Self-Employed Contribution
  • The DIEC premium rate for 2023 is 6.93 percent of the first $153,164 of your net income. The premium includes contributions for DI and PFL benefits.

Note: This premium is for both Paid Family Leave (PFL) and state Disability Insurance (DI).

For calendar year 2023, DIEC premiums are based on the net profit you reported on your 2021 IRS Form 1040, Schedule SE, or Schedule C. Each quarter, 25 percent of this amount is reported as wage credits.

Contribution Period

Minimum requirement of six months participation from the approved start date of your EC plan before you are eligible for benefits. Coverage must remain in effect for two complete calendar years unless the individual meets the criteria for early termination.

Note: If you worked as an employee in California for an employer who previously deducted SDI contributions for you approximately 5 to 18 months prior to your EC plan, you may have reported wage earnings in your base period, which may give you a valid claim to begin your DI or PFL leave sooner.

Qualifying Life Events
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition.
  • For parents to bond with a new child entering their life either by birth, adoption, or foster care placement.
  • Military deployment of a spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, or child to a foreign country.
Wage Benefit

The weekly benefit amounts are the same for DI and PFL claims. For calendar year 2023, the DIEC minimum weekly benefit amount is $50 and the maximum weekly benefit amount is $1,620.

Length of Benefit

Benefit for PFL is up to 8 weeks in a 12-month period.

Glossary of Terms:

Employee/Self-employed Contribution:

The amount that a self-employed individual must pay into the program in order to qualify for benefits. Depending on your state this contribution may be quarterly or annually.

Employee’s/Self-employed Average Weekly Wage (AWW):

The total amount an employee/self-employed person earned in a 52-week period divided by 52

  • Ex: If you make $40,000 annually, your average weekly wage is $769.23, which is $40,000 divided by 52.
  • If the contribution is .27% of an employee’s/self-employed person’s average weekly wage, if you made $40,000 annually, your contribution would be $108, which is $40,000 times .0027 (which is .27%).
Contribution Period:

The amount of time you need to pay into the program before you are eligible to apply for PFL benefits.

Qualifying Life Events:

The type of life events that allow you to apply for PFL benefits.

Wage Benefit:

Amount of benefit to be paid to employee/self-employed person during their PFL.

Length of Benefit:

Length of time covered under PFL.

Social Security contribution base:

This is a set of criteria by Social Security’s Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program that caps the amount of earnings each year that are eligible for your social security contributions. Some state’s Paid Family Leave insurance funds use this same threshold to cap contributions into their programs. This cap changes annually. For 2022 the base is $147,000.

Note: The contents of the directory last updated day of 2/15/22. We try our best to have the most up to date information possible, however please double check all information with your state. This directory is for educational purposes only.

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