What to expect after you apply for Paid Leave Oregon benefits

What to expect after you apply for benefits

Frances Online automatically estimates your benefit amount and your benefits start date. The system lists this amount and date on your Frances Online home page. The system does this before we begin reviewing your application. It doesn’t mean that we have approved your application.

Paid Leave immediately begins verifying your identity. This is important to protect you from fraud and identity theft. Your claim can’t move forward until we’ve verified your identity. This can take a couple of days and if you sent us incorrect information, that could delay your verification. 

Even if you choose electronic communication, you may receive a letter through the mail that asks for more information. Please continue to check your Frances Online account and your physical mailbox. It is important that you exactly follow the instructions in the letter if you receive it. If you don’t do this, you will delay your claim.

What can I expect while Paid Leave reviews my application?

After we confirm your identity, we review different parts of your application separately. You might get more than a few requests for information along with more than one decision letter from Paid Leave. It is important to read all letters to make sure your information is correct.

Here are some types of decisions you might receive in your Frances Online account:

  1. First, we make sure that you made at least $1,000 in subject wages or subject self-employed taxable income during your base year or alternate base year. If you are self-employed, we make sure that you have also paid contributions during this time frame. We may send you messages in Frances about a “monetary determination.” These are letters that include details about your income during your base year or alternate base year. We send you this decision before we approve your application and send you a benefits decision letter. A monetary determination notice may include a letter that asks you for more information. If you meet this eligibility requirement, the letter will also include your potential benefit amount. Again, receiving this letter doesn’t mean that we have approved your application.
  2. Next, after we make sure you meet the income eligibility requirement, we look at other requirements related to your type of leave (family, medical, or safe) or other information. We often send you questionnaires and letters asking for additional information about your leave event or other related information. We send them to you after we have made sure you meet the income requirement, but before we approve or deny your application. With these letters, we are making sure that your life event for your type of leave (family, medical, or safe leave) is eligible for paid leave. Also, we often need you to fill out a form that your health care professional needs to sign. After you have completed the questionnaires and provided the forms, you may receive messages in Frances that are related to these called “non-monetary determinations.”
  3. When we finish reviewing your application, we will send you a final benefits decision letter that will tell you if we have approved or denied your application.

As we receive more information about your claim, you may receive letters that tell you about a change in a previous decision we have made about your claim.

Continue to check your Frances Online account and your mailbox for letters so you can quickly answer any other questions we may have about your application. This will help your claim move forward as quickly as possible.

Base year and alternate base year explained

We use calendar quarters to find your base year or alternate base year. A calendar quarter is a three-month time frame, and is usually defined on a yearly basis:

  • January-March as the first quarter
  • April-June as the second quarter
  • July-September as the third quarter
  • October-December as the fourth quarter

Note: You can’t choose if we use your base year or your alternate base year.

Base year

Your base year is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the start date of your paid leave benefit year. The start date of your benefit year is the Sunday before your first day of leave. We always use your base year to decide if you are eligible for benefits unless you made less than $1,000 in subject wages or subject self-employed taxable income.

Example:

Your paid leave benefit year starts on Feb. 4, 2024. We need to find the five completed quarters before your benefit year start date to calculate your base year. Because Feb. 4, 2024, is in the first quarter of 2024, we don’t include that quarter in your base year because it isn’t complete.

The five quarters before the first quarter of 2024 are:

  • The four quarters of 2023 and
  • The last quarter of 2022 

That means that the first four of those five quarters are your base year and include: 

  • The last quarter of 2022 (October-December) and
  • The first three quarters of 2023 (January-September). 

You may be eligible for benefits if you made at least $1,000 in subject wages or subject self-employed taxable income between October 2022 and September 2023.

Alternate base year

Your alternate base year is the four most recent, completed calendar quarters before the start date of your paid leave benefit year. Again, the start date of your benefit year is the Sunday before your first day of leave. If you made less than $1,000 in your base year, then we check your alternate base year to determine if you are eligible for benefits.

Example:

Your paid leave benefit year starts on Feb. 4, 2024. We need to find the four most recent, completed quarters before this date. Because Feb. 4, 2024, is in the first quarter of 2024, we don’t include that quarter in your alternate base year because it isn’t complete.

The four most recent, completed quarters are the four quarters of 2023. Your alternate base year in this example is January-December 2023.

You may be eligible if you made at least $1,000 in subject wages or self-employed income between January-December 2023.

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