‘It’s Infuriating,’ New Mothers Pissed off With State’s New Paid Household And Medical Go away Program – CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – When Ashley Camden had her first baby in late December, she found the timing perfect. Rose was born on January 1st just days before the new Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program started in Massachusetts. Both she and her husband qualified and planned some time off.

“We both have three months with the baby, our first child. We were well pumped, ”she said to WBZ-TV.

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But while the couple juggled the stress of caring for a newborn and trying to enjoy their time together, they grew increasingly frustrated with the agency handling vacation payments.

“During the application, the person’s computer died so I had to call back and reapply and it created a duplicate application which was then flagged (as) fraudulent,” said Ashley, setting out several other obstacles, including the need Submit documents several times. “It was just a mess.”

The weeks passed and still no payments. The bills piled up while the savings faded.

“Fortunately, we both have families to help us,” she said.

Caitlin Haskins was in a similar situation and spent much of her maternity leave tracking down her accomplishments.

“I have to pay bills. It’s annoying, “she said to WBZ.

The PFML program is largely funded by contributions from the employer or the employee himself. Haskins contributed approximately $ 5,200 to the program.

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“It’s like my money is tied up there,” she said.

When we contacted the state’s Department of Labor and Human Resources Development, a spokesman told the WBZ:

• With the launch of the Family and Sick Leave Benefit Program on January 1st, DFML is continuously improving the process and accelerating the payment schedule.

• DFML is adding more employees to its call center and is working to improve customer service on several fronts.

• Benefits cannot be sent until a vacation period has started to verify that vacation started as planned, entitlement is eligible, and the seven-day waiting period has been met.

Both Camden and Haskins eventually got their money. Camden came a week after her 12 week covered vacation was over.

“This is the last thing you want to worry about now as you are trying to enjoy the new things, smiles, and milestones that are coming in this new era,” she said.

On July 1, thousands more Massachusetts residents can join this program to care for sick relatives.

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Visit the state’s website for more information.

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