A man, who could benefit from paid leave for caregivers, helps his elderly father get dressed.

Paid Leave for Caregivers

For caregivers of people with serious medical conditions, there may be options to take paid time off of work. In celebration of National Family Caregivers Month, we’re here to lay it all out for you. We’ve also put together a new Quick Guide to State Paid Family Leave Programs!

Is There Federal Paid Leave for Caregivers?

No. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees may be able to take up to 12-weeks of job-protected leave, per year, as a caregiver for a spouse, parent, or child. Unfortunately, this leave is unpaid. For more information on the FMLA time, read our Extended Quick Guide to the Family & Medical Leave Act.

State Paid Leave Options

While the FMLA does not require paid leave, some states have paid family leave programs. The following states currently have paid family leave:

  • California
  • Connecticut (January 1, 2022)
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.


There are two states that will have paid family leave programs in the upcoming years. The states that will be implementing paid family leave in the next several years are:

  • New Hampshire (January 2023)
  • Oregon (September 3, 2023)


Each state’s paid family leave program has different eligibility requirements, amounts of time off, and rules on who you can care for. For more information on each state’s paid family leave program, read our new Quick Guide to State Paid Family Leave Programs.

Other Paid Leave Options

In addition to the state paid family leave programs listed above, caregivers may have other paid leave options at the state and local level. For example, some states, including Maine and Nevada, have paid leave laws that require employers to provide paid time off that can be used for any reason.

Other states have kin care laws. Kin care laws require employers who provide accrued paid leave to allow employees to use that leave for certain covered reasons. The details of the laws, including the covered reasons, vary by state. States with kin care laws include: California, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.

You can also check Triage Cancer’s chart of state laws on taking time off from work for other options that might be available to you where you live.

Also, your employer may offer paid leave options that are better than what the law requires. Check your employee manual for your options, or talk to your employer.

About Triage Cancer

Triage Cancer is a national, nonprofit providing free education to people diagnosed with cancer, advocates, caregivers, and health care professionals on cancer-related legal and practical issues. Through eventsmaterials, and resources, Triage Cancer is dedicated to helping people move beyond diagnosis.

For additional information on the rights of caregivers, read: A Practical Guide to Cancer Rights for Caregivers. You can also watch our animated video: Supporting Caregivers.

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