Making Ends Meet When You Take Off Work For Family Health Crisis

You never know when a serious health crisis will arise in your family. Perhaps you are one of many California workers currently helping a family member in his or her fight against cancer. Maybe your spouse is suffering a debilitating illness related to Lyme disease or some other chronic illness. Caring for a loved one who is extremely ill can be quite stressful. In addition to the strain it may place on your personal physical and mental well-being, it can also cause major problems at work.

California, like most other states, has laws regarding family leave and benefits to which you may be entitled if you have to take an extended absence from your job in order to care for an ailing loved one. Such laws may vary, depending on which region of the state in which you happen to work.

Paid family leave facts that may pertain to your situation

Determining whether you’re eligible for family leave can be stressful. That’s because laws are not standard throughout the state. For instance, if you work in San Francisco, you may eligible for additional benefits that workers in other areas are not. Knowing where to turn for support ahead of time may help you avoid a lot of stress. The following list provides facts that may help clarify your particular eligibility issues:

  • In this state, you may able to receive more than half regular wages while on paid family leave, so long as that amount does not exceed $1,173 per week.
  • To collect paid family leave benefits, your situation must fall under an approved category, such as the need to miss work to bond with a newborn infant or adopted child or to care of an immediate family member who is ill.
  • Only certain family members qualify as immediate relatives, such as spouses, children or parents.
  • The type of illness your family member has must also be on the list of approved reasons to collect benefits. In short, a minor sore throat or even the flu typically does not satisfy eligibility requirements.
  • Your own illness generally does not qualify you for paid family leave benefits unless you happen to work in San Francisco.

Family medical leave laws are often complex and the last thing you need while caring for an ill loved one is to have to battle the system just to get the benefits you need to help make ends meet at home while you’re absent from work. Knowing what resources are available to help you simplify the process may prevent stress overload.