New Jersey Streamlines Pregnancy Disability and Family Leave Benefits

New Jersey has updates to its statutory temporary disability (TDI) and paid family leave (FLI) benefit programs. Beginning on October 4, 2019, New Jersey will be streamlining its TDI and FLI benefit programs to provide a smoother transition between TDI and FLI benefits. Two bills were recently signed by New Jersey’s Governor, NJ Assembly Bill 2762 and NJ Assembly Bill 4118 that are driving the required changes to the laws.

NJ Assembly Bill 2762: This bill requires a benefit plan to automatically process an application for family leave benefits when an employee applies for temporary disability benefits for pregnancy disability, unless the individual opts out of the FLI benefits. By creating the automated application, the individual would receive any approved FLI benefits immediately following the end of the TDI benefits.

The automatic FLI application rule applies to the State plan and a private benefit plan that holds TDI and FLI for the individual. A private plan that offers only TDI must provide to its TDI claimants written notice of the application process for FLI concurrently with issuing its written approval of TDI benefits.

NJ Assembly Bill 4118: This bill provides for early filing of benefits. An employee can submit a claim for TDI and FLI up to 60 days before the start of leave if an employee knows in advance when the leave will begin, such as a pregnancy, scheduled medical procedures, or care of a family member. The bill requires the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to pay the benefit for the claim at the beginning of the claim if the claim was filed in advance.

The changes to New Jersey’s benefit programs allow employees to focus on their life event of a pregnancy and bonding with their newborn, upcoming medical procedure, or caring for a loved one and less time applying for their entitled benefits. FINEOS Absence can help with the administration of private New Jersey TDI and FLI benefits. For example, FINEOS Absence provides seamless, straight through processing for pregnancy and child bonding claims, administering both paid benefits and concurrent unpaid leave entitlement all in the same claim.

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