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Family Leave Works for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

Are you a New York worker who is the parent of a child with special needs? If so, you may be eligible to take up to 8 weeks of paid family leave in order to address your child’s health needs starting in January 2018.

New York’s new paid family leave law will give most people who work in New York State the right to take paid time off, without risking their job or health insurance, to address the serious health needs of their child (as well as those of a parent, parent-in-law, spouse, domestic partner, grandchild, or grandparent). You can take this leave when a covered family member has an illness, condition, or disability that requires either in-patient treatment or ongoing supervision or treatment by a health care provider. This includes serious mental health conditions.

For example, you could use this time to take a child with a covered health condition to get treatment, such as seeing a mental health professional, speech therapist, or occupational therapist. You may also be able to use this time when your child is unable to attend school or engage in other regular daily activities due to his or her condition. You do not need to use paid family leave all at once. If you need to, you can even take leave intermittently in units as small as one day.

Under the law, your child includes your biological, adoptive, or foster child, as well as your stepchild, the child of your domestic partner, or your legal ward. You may also be able to take paid family leave to care for a child when you have taken on the role and responsibilities of a parent, even if you do not have a biological or legal relationship with the child.

For more information on New York’s paid family leave law, visit us online or call our free and confidential hotline at 1-833-NEED-ABB.

This blog post is part an on-going series of know-your-rights information on New York’s paid family leave law. This post does not address all aspects of the law and does not constitute legal advice.