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February 24, 2020

We've updated our processing times

Demand for the new Paid Family and Medical Leave program continues to be very high. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Demand continues to be higher than expected, with more than 30,000 applications in the first six weeks.
  • You can find expected processing times on our website (paidleave.wa.gov/after-you-apply).
  • We are pulling out all the stops to get through the backlog and process applications as quickly as possible.

“Since my last update a few weeks ago, demand continues to be very high for this new program. We’ve received over 30,000 applications in the first six weeks and, unfortunately, expect processing times to be up to 10 weeks. We are working hard to address this demand, but we know this timeframe is simply too long. We are doing everything we can to bring on more staff, speed up processing and use every resource available to address this backlog as fast as possible. Given the mitigation steps we’re putting in place, we believe 10 weeks is the peak to process complete applications for many who have applied up to this point, and we will see that decline as the mitigations take hold.

“The exceptional demand we are experiencing speaks to an even more profound need for this benefit than we expected. That said, we recognize that there may be some who will experience hardships by not getting the benefit sooner than we are able to process their application, and we apologize deeply for the difficulty this may cause. It is important to know that payments will be made retroactive to the approved leave start date and not to the date when the application is processed.” - Suzi LeVine, Commissioner for the Employment Security Department

Learn more by watching this short update from Commissioner Suzi LeVine, or by downloading this one-pager.

January 28, 2020

We're working hard to address high demand

OLYMPIA – We are excited to share that thousands of Washingtonians are already taking advantage of the country’s best Paid Family and Medical Leave program! Demand is very high however, so here’s what you need to know:

  • We received three months’ projected applications in the first three weeks.
  • You can find expected processing times on our website (paidleave.wa.gov/after-you-apply).
  • All available resources are working to process claims as quickly as possible.

“We had originally estimated up to four weeks to process applications. However, we have received a much higher volume than expected and believe we will exceed that threshold soon. Please know that we are doing everything we can to expand our capacity and process applications as quickly as possible while maintaining high quality care and thoroughness.

“Having over 20,000 applications in just three weeks is a testament to the need Washingtonians have for paid leave to care for themselves and their families. That said, we recognize that there may be some who will experience hardships by not getting the benefit sooner than we are able to process their application, and we apologize deeply for the difficulty this may cause. It’s important for customers to know that, if approved, the payments will be retroactively paid to the date leave began and not to the date when the application is approved.” - Suzi LeVine, Commissioner for the Employment Security Department

Learn more by watching this short update from Commissioner Suzi LeVine, or by downloading this one-pager.

January 2, 2020

News release: Paid Family and Medical Leave is here - and it's a game changer for Washington

December 26, 2019

Employer email - Website makeover and new resources: Prepare to take leave with these tools on the new website.

December 13, 2019

Employer email - Resources for employers and employees: Get ready for 2020 with these infographics, guides and videos.

December 11, 2019

News release: Paid Family and Medical Leave is almost here - get ready now

October 29, 2019

Employer email - Q3 reporting ends Oct. 31: This email provides a reminder about the Q3 reporting period and links to frequently asked questions about reporting.

October 3, 2019

Employer email - Quarter 3 reporting open: This email provides information about the Q3 reporting period and a link to a video employers can share with their employees to learn more about the program.

September 20, 2019

Employer email - Reporting continues: This email provides notes about reporting and a tutorial video about linking to a client.

August 30, 2019

Employer email - We're here to help with reporting: This email provides information about the reporting deadline and challenges we are addressing.

August 13, 2019

Employer email - Reporting deadline approaching: This email provides reporting tips and tricks.

July 29, 2019

Employer agent - Account set up and POA details: This email provides important power of attorney information.

July 2, 2019

Employer email - reporting starts now: The Paid Family and Medical Leave technology system has launched. This email provides an update to the 2019 Q1 and Q2 reporting deadline and details about planned system outages.

July 2, 2019

News release: Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits one-step closer as technology system launches.

June 20, 2019

Employer email - videos: This email provides a link to our employer reporting overview video and a downloadable checklist for setting up an account and filing reports for Q1 and Q2.

June 14, 2019

Employer email - checklist: This email provides a downloadable checklist for setting up an account and filing reports for Q1 and Q2.

June 2019

Letter sent to all employers: This letter contains instructions for creating an account, filing reports and paying premiums for 2019 Q1 and Q2.

May 7, 2019

Written testimony - Read the full written testimony by Commissioner Suzi LeVine for the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee's hearing on Paid Family and Medical Leave.

Watch the hearing 

May 7, 2019

MEDIA ALERT: Commissioner Suzi LeVine to testify on paid leave before U.S. House Ways & Means Committee

April 26, 2019

Employer email - Reminder about revised reporting timeline for Q1 2019

April 3, 2019

News release - Bill to strengthen Paid Family and Medical Leave signed into law

March 13, 2019

Employer email - reporting deadline update: This is an important message to all employers in Washington about the revised deadlines for Q1 Paid Family and Medical Leave reports and premium payments.

March 13, 2019

News release - Paid Family and Medical Leave to launch beta system in April, extend reporting timeline to July

Feb. 21, 2019

Employer agent email: This is the first email in a four-part series designed to help employer agents prepare for reporting and remitting for employer clients. (Employer agents are third party administrators who report or pay the State of Washington on behalf of employer clients).

Dec. 28, 2018

Employer email - review: This is the fifth email in a five-part series designed to help employers prepare for the requrements that kick in on Jan. 1, 2019.

Dec. 20, 2018

Employer email - paystub insert: This is the fourth email in a five-part series designed to help employers prepare for the requrements that kick in on Jan. 1, 2019. This email provides sample content for intranet sites, company blogs and newsletters, as well as a paystub insert for employees.

Dec. 13, 2018

Employer email - reporting: This is the third email in a five-part series designed to help employers prepare for the Paid Family and Medical Leave requirements that kick in on Jan. 1, 2019.

Dec. 6, 2018

Employer email - premiums: This is the second email in a five-part designed to help employers prepare for the Paid Family and Medical Leave requirements that kick in on Jan. 1, 2019.

Dec. 4, 2018

Letter sent to all known employer addresses:This letter was mailed to about 600,000 business mailing addresses starting Dec. 4, 2018.

Nov. 30, 2018

Employer email - program overview: This is the first email in a five-part series designed to help employers prepare for the Paid Family and Medical Leave requirements that kick in on Jan. 1, 2019. It was sent to over 600,000 business email addresses.

Nov. 30, 2018

News release: Premium collection for Paid Family and Medical Leave starts Jan. 1, 2019

July 16, 2018

National debate on paid family leave highlights Washington's best-in-the-nation program. "Whether you work part-time, in multiple jobs, for a small business or a large corporation, by 2020 almost anyone working in this state will be able to take necessary time off to care for themselves and their loved ones," said ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine

July 6, 2018

Commissioner Suzi LeVine submitted written testimony to the U.S. Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy regarding proposed federal paid family leave legislation. 

April 2, 2018

Critical information for Washington employers (This communication went out to every employer ESD had email addresses for as of March 2018)