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

(last updated 08/23/22)
Is it Available?

Yes.

Who’s Eligible?
  • A self-employed individual. 

If you are a 1099-MISC worker for a business that does not cover contractors for PFML because 1099-MISC workers make up less than 50% of the business’s workforce, you can choose to opt-in to the PFML program through MassTaxConnect. To be eligible for benefits, you will have to:

  • Have earned $5,700 during the last 4 completed calendar quarters, and at least 30 times more than how much you would be eligible to get each week from your Paid Family Medical Leave benefits
  • Pay the full 0.68% contribution rate for both family and medical leave for at least 2 of your last 4 completed calendar quarters before claiming benefits (This rate adjusts annually)

Note: If you own a business and pay yourself through a W-2, you are an employee of that business and will be considered part of your covered workforce under PFML.

Employee/Self-Employed Contribution

Self-employed individuals who enroll will contribute 0.68% of their self-employment income, up to 142,800 in earnings as defined by the Social Security Contribution base.

Contribution Period

After electing coverage and contributing the required payments for 2 of your last 4 completed calendar quarters, you will be eligible for benefits.

Qualifying Life Events
  • Caring for your own serious health condition as certified by a health care provider, including illness, injury, or pregnancy/childbirth (up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave)
  • Caring for a family member with a serious health condition as certified by a health care provider, including illness, injury, or pregnancy/childbirth (up to 12 weeks of paid family leave)
  • Bonding with your child during the first 12 months after birth, adoption, or placement (up to 12 weeks of paid family leave)
  • Caring for a family member who was injured serving in the armed forces (up to 26 weeks of paid family leave)
  • Managing affairs while a family member is on active duty (up to 12 weeks of paid family leave)
Wage Benefit

For an individual who makes less than 50% of the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW), they will qualify for 80% of their average weekly wage.

For an individual who makes more than 50% of the SAWW, they will qualify for the above benefit plus 50% of their average weekly wage for the portion of their income above the 50% of the SAWW.

Maximum benefit: $850 per week, adjusted annually. 

Check out the benefit calculator here.

Length of Benefit

Own health: Up to 20 weeks in an application year.

Family leave: Up to 12 weeks in an application year.

Military caregivers: Up to 26 weeks of family leave in an application year.

Maximum amount of weeks if combined for multiple qualifying life events is 26 weeks in an application year.

Website to Learn More and Apply

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/paid-family-and-medical-leave-coverage-for-self-employed-individuals

For questions about benefits and eligibility: (833) 344-7365

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

For questions about contributions and exemptions: (617) 466-3950

Department of Revenue - Hours of operation: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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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