Between January 2022 and May 2023, provided over $375 million in paid leave benefits to over 65,935 workers
Hartford CT — The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority (CTPL) today released its second annual report, focusing on the period of June 2022 to May 2023. Within the first 17 months of paying claims, the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority has provided over $375 million in CT Paid Leave benefits to over 65,935 workers in Connecticut. Claims processing times have continually improved, and claims are currently being decided an average of 4.1 days after all necessary documentation has been submitted. Claim applications have come from all 169 cities and towns in Connecticut, demonstrating the need for paid leave regardless of claimants’ geographical locations.
“Our paid family and medical leave program sends a clear message–we’ve got your back, Connecticut,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “No one should have to choose between their health and making ends meet. Thanks to this program, over 50,000 hardworking folks got the support they needed to focus on themselves and their loved ones during a challenging time this year. I commend the dedicated team at Connecticut Paid Leave Authority, who work tirelessly to improve this program and strengthen our workforce. Together, we’re putting people first to fuel Connecticut’s economy.”
“Connecticut led the way when we implemented one of the most comprehensive paid leave programs in the country. The program offered a lifeline, easing the burden on our workers who no longer have to worry about lost income in the event they need to care for themselves or their families. And it made Connecticut one of the most female-friendly states in the nation, no longer penalizing women for taking time away after giving birth, or taking care of a loved one,” said Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “Now through this report, we can really see the impact of the program — which received 90,393 applications from all 169 cities and towns in the state over the last year. I’m especially proud to see the program’s benefits administration launch not only on time and under budget, but that the fund continues to be fiscally sound.”
“Since our last report, we’ve experienced a year of change and growth,” said Erin Choquette, CTPL CEO. “Over the past several months, we’ve acted upon feedback from claimants and key stakeholders across the state and taken several steps to improve the program. Improvements include updates to the online claims portal and the creation of a document dashboard to provide applicants an easier way to view their claims and submit the necessary documentation for their claims to be processed. We also simplified the claim process when a birthing parent plans to take bonding leave immediately after their pregnancy ends, enabling new parents to spend the time they need after a child is born without worrying about submitting a separate claim. We continue to explore ways to ensure that all workers understand the program and can access the benefits they need.”
Additional findings from the annual report include:
- From June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023, CT Paid Leave received 90,393 total applications for benefits.
- On average, CT Paid Leave receives an average of 7,500 claims per month
- Of the 90,393 applications received between June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023, 82,008 applications received a decision:
- 57,192 were approved (70%)
- 24,469 were denied (30%)
- The number one reason for claims denial remains that claimants do not provide the required claim documentation (79%). As the program is entirely employee funded, we take great care to ensure that applications have sufficient and complete documentation so that an accurate and fully informed claim decision can be made. The new document dashboard allows applicants to log on and see the status of their claim, including what documentation remains outstanding.
- During the reporting period, 12,907 requests for reconsideration were received. These reconsideration requests resulted in a total of 10,632 denials being overturned and the claim being approved.
- Most approved applications related to leave for an employee’s own illness or injury (25,580, 45%), followed by bonding with a child following birth (15,527, 27%), pregnancy/childbirth leave (10,595, 19%), and care of a family member (5,309 9%).
- The Authority also approved applications for other qualifying leave reasons: bonding with a child following adoption or foster care placement (108, 0.19%) family violence leave (34, 0.06%), organ or bone marrow donation (26, 0.05%) and military family leave (13, 0.02%).
- Of all applications submitted, 64% of claimants identified as female and 34% identified as male. Most of the remainder chose not to specify a gender, and 0.25% of claimants identified as non-binary.
- The average approved leave duration for claims during the reporting period was 6.82 weeks, and the average weekly benefit payment was $729.
- Nearly 145,000 employers have registered with the CT Paid Leave Authority. This includes 3,364 sole-proprietors or self-employed individuals that opted-in to participate in the program.
- From June 1, 2022, through May 31, 2023, the fund received $436,835,677 in contributions.
- The fund balance as of May 31, 2023 was $531,057,327.
“It is critical that all workers know about the program and all covered employers understand and fulfill their obligation to deduct and remit their employees’ contributions,” said Fran Pastore, Chair of the CTPL Board. “Accordingly, this year, we engaged in a multi-phase effort to recover contributions from all covered Connecticut employers to ensure compliance with the law and safeguard the program’s long-term solvency. Now well into the third year of collecting employee payroll contributions and second year of providing paid leave benefits to workers, monthly actuarial reports and metrics show the program is fiscally sound.”
Applicants have shared the following feedback with CTPL:
- J. L.: “My first time applying for my benefits. The representatives were very knowledgeable, thorough and understanding. My claim was processed faster than the suggested date. Very easy process, worry free. Thank you!”
- S.A.: “This was very easy to apply for and not overwhelming during a time that was emotionally exhausting for me. I appreciated that the process was straightforward, and I felt the online claim status was easy to use and check on my claim. 100% recommend. Thank you.”
- N. S.: ‘‘The process is hassle free and the approval process is quick, and payment (is) made on time.”
To apply for paid leave online, workers will first need to create an account with CT Paid Leave by visiting www.ctpaidleave.org. The applicant can then submit their claim online. Assistance is also available by calling (877) 499–8606. Hours of operation for a live representative are 8 AM to 8 PM ET, Monday through Friday.