Washington DC’s Paid Family Leave Program for Self-Employed Individuals

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


Who’s Eligible?
  • Sole proprietors
  • Independent contractors
  • Members of a partnership

Note: The income you receive from your business must be reportable as self-employment income to the IRS. To be eligible for benefits, the income you earned must have been for work performed more than 50% of the time in DC.

Employee/Self-Employed Contribution

Self-employed individuals who enroll will contribute 0.62% of your DC gross self employment income at the end of every quarter, starting the quarter that you opt in.

Note: You can use the premium calculator on www.dcpaidfamilyleave.dc.gov to get an estimate.

Contribution Period

Self-Employed individuals can opt in every November and December (Starting in 2020), or within 60 days of the commencement of their self-employment in DC.

Note: Self-employed individuals that don’t opt in when they are first eligible must remain in the program for three (3) years if they opt in later.

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.
  • For a worker’s own serious health condition.
Wage Benefit

90% of a worker’s average weekly wage.

Maximum benefit is $1,009.00 per week.

Length of Benefit

Length of leave:

  • 12 weeks to bond with a new child
  • 12 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • 2 weeks to care for your own serious health condition
Website to Learn More and Apply

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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