On October 1, 2021, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) released its 2021 Annual Report as well as several important updates for employers effective January 1, 2022.
Report on applications approved / denied
The Annual Report states that for FY 2021 (January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021), the DFML processed 43,440 applications. Of this, 3,207 applications that were initially denied were subsequently approved during the appeals process. The DFML denied 9,989 applications representing 22.99% of all applications received.
In FY 2021, the DFML paid out a total of $167,915,781.01 in family and medical leave benefits.
Increases: average weekly wage, maximum total benefit
Effective October 1, 2021, the state average weekly wage in Massachusetts is $1,694.24 per week, up from $1,487.78 for 2021. Effective January 1, 2022, this new rate will be utilized to calculate a recipient’s benefit for the 2022 program year.
The maximum total benefit for 2022 has also increased to $1,084.31 per week, up from $850.00 per week for 2021.
Decreases: contribution rate
Lastly, while the weekly benefit will increase for approved recipients of the program, the new contribution rate on eligible employee wages will actually decrease from 0.75% of eligible wages to 0.68% of eligible wages.
More information on these updates can be found on the DFML website.
Disclaimer:The information contained herein is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Employers should closely monitor the rules and regulations specific to their jurisdiction(s) and should seek advice from counsel relative to their rights and responsibilities.