The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development offers Family Leave Insurance for many adoptive families within the state. NJ’s Family Leave Insurance offers monetary benefits to parents who have chosen to take a leave of absence from their employment for the purpose of bonding with a newly adopted child.
Applying For Adoption Benefits In New Jersey
If you have specific questions about the benefits to which you are entitled in New Jersey, contact an adoption professional at Adoptions From The Heart to discuss your options. The following article is meant to be a general overview of New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance program.
When Can I Apply For Family Leave In New Jersey?
In New Jersey, Family Leave Insurance benefits can be claimed within the first 12 months after a child’s placement. Your leave of absence must last more than seven consecutive days, unless your employer allows you to take leave in non-consecutive periods. If they do, each period of absence must be at least seven days long. New Jersey provides cash benefits for up to six weeks to bond with your newly adopted child.
What Does NJ’s Family Leave Offer To Adoptive Families?
The weekly benefit rate offered to an adoptive family in New Jersey is based on how much money you made weekly in the eight weeks before your leave begins. Generally, the monetary benefit is two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to $595.
While New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance offers monetary compensation to adoptive parents bonding with their children, it is not necessarily a “leave entitlement.” This means that your job may not be protected while you take a leave of absence. The official text from New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development states that “this program does not give workers the right to return to their job after a period of family leave.”
The situation changes if your employer is covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or New Jersey’s Family Leave Act. If you’re not sure whether your employer is covered under these Acts, ask your supervisor, manager, or business owner. Employers are also legally required to post information about the types of coverage they provide. If your employer is covered, your job is most likely protected during a leave.
Is My Child Applicable?
To apply for insurance benefits, your child must be younger than 19 years old, or older than 19 but unable to care for themselves due to mental or physical impairment.
What Do I Need To File For Adoption-Related Leave In New Jersey?
Documentation is required to file for a Family Leave Insurance claim. The below documents are all considered “acceptable certification.” Usually, an adoptive family is not required to present all of these documents upon filing a claim.
- Your child’s birth certificate
- Birth mother’s hospital discharge record
- Declaration of paternity, [explain]
- Certificate of placement, available from
- Independent adoption placement agreement
To begin filing a claim for New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance, follow this link to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s How To File A Claim page.
How Is Family Leave Insurance Paid For?
New Jersey’s Family Leave program is paid for using employee payroll deductions. In 2014, every worker in New Jersey contributes .001% of the “taxable wage base,” the maximum amount of earned income upon which workers must pay Social Security taxes. This year, that equals $31,500, but the number changes yearly. The most New Jersey can take from an employee’s paycheck in order to fund Family Leave Insurance is $31.50.
Not sure whether you are entitled to New Jersey’s state-provided benefits for adoptive families? Contact our office in Cherry Hill to learn more!