Request Maternity Leave (MPLP) in the Air Force: Step by Step

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Request Maternity Leave (MPLP) in the Air Force: Step by Step

In 2018, the Air Force changed its parental leave policy. Earlier, the Air Force used to give 12 weeks to female Airmen who gave birth and 10 days to Airmen whose spouses gave birth. Now, however, consists of six weeks of convalescent leave and six weeks of primary caregiver leave or three weeks of secondary caregiver leave.

Keep in mind that there are many rules surrounding maternity leave that may be difficult to keep track of. Plus, the method of applying for leave via LeaveWeb is far from intuitive. For female airmen who need to focus on their pregnancy and get things ready for the new baby, it may be a better idea to go through DoNotPay. This will simplify the process of applying for maternity leave and get it out of the way so that you can focus on more important issues.

Who can apply for maternity leave in the Air Force?

Maternity leave in the Air Force applies to Airmen who are birth mothers or have adopted a baby. It also applies to same-sex couples and surrogate mothers. You can apply for maternity leave if:

FMLA policies differ a lot by state as well. Here is a reference guide for state-specific resources:

CaliforniaOhioOklahomaHawaiiSouth Dakota
CaliforniaNew YorkNew JerseyNew Mexico
TexasMassachusettsRhode IslandFlorida
MichiganTennesseeNew HampshireWisconsin
North CarolinaColoradoHawaiiIndiana
AlabamaArkansasMississippiSouth Carolina

What is maternity convalescent leave in the Air Force?

Maternity leave is broken up into two parts by the Air Force rules and regulations. The first part of maternity leave is maternity convalescent leave. Here's what you need to know about this leave:

  1. It can be taken by birth mothers as well as mothers adopting a child. It can be taken even when the baby is stillborn or when the mother has a miscarriage.
  2. You'll need to show that a convalescent leave is medically necessary for the mother or the fetus (in case you take it before the baby's birth).
  3. Maternity convalescent leave is six weeks (42 days) long. It can be extended if the mother's health demands it, but you'll need to get a doctor's certificate to enable you to do so.
  4. You need to take maternity convalescent leave before caregiver leave.
  5. All six weeks of maternity convalescent leave have to be taken at one go.
  6. If you want to take maternity convalescent leave and primary/secondary caregiver leave one after the other, you may do so.
  7. Your commander can't refuse to give you maternity convalescent leave.
  8. You can't transfer your maternity convalescent leave to your partner; you have to take it yourself.
  9. When you leave active service, you will no longer be eligible for maternity convalescent leave.

Who are primary and secondary caregivers?

As per the rules, maternity convalescent leave can be taken along with primary/secondary caregiver leave or the two can be taken apart as long as the primary/secondary caregiver leave is taken within a year of the birth/adoption of the child.

But in order to take the primary/secondary caregiver leave, it is necessary to understand what these designations mean. The primary caregiver is the one who is going to be spending more time with the child; s/he is going to be responsible for a greater share of taking care of the child. The secondary caregiver will have a smaller role in caring for the child.

It's the covered servicememberServicemember i.e. the mother or father of the child who is in the Air Force, who determines who's going to be the primary and who's going to be the secondary caregiver of the child. The commander and supervisor don't have a say in which parent is going to be the primary or secondary caregiver.

What is primary caregiver leave in the Air Force?

Once you and your spouse have decided who's going to be the primary and who's going to be the secondary caregiver to the child, you can decide what type of leave you want to ask for, as a part of your maternity leave. Here's what you need to know about primary caregiver leave:

  • It lasts for six weeks (42 days), and you have to take it within a year of birth/adoption.
  • You can take it along with maternity convalescent leave or approved ordinary leave.
  • If you don't take it along with maternal convalescent leave, you can take it sometime later as long as you take it within a year of birth/adoption.
  • It has to be taken at one go; it can't be broken up into shorter leave periods.
  • You can't take it if you give the baby up for adoption or terminate your parental rights in some other way.
  • It comes to an end if the child dies, but you can take an emergency leave in this case.
  • You can't share the leave with your spouse or partner. You have to take it yourself.

What is secondary caregiver leave in the Air Force?

Traditionally, mothers have been designated primary caregivers, but you can also choose the secondary caregiver role for yourself. The only difference between primary caregiver leave and secondary caregiver leave is the duration. Whereas primary caregiver leave is six weeks long, secondary caregiver leave is three weeks long.

Like the primary caregiver leave, secondary caregiver leave has to be taken within a year and can only be taken all at one go. Plus, it can't be transferred to anyone else, and you can't get it if you give the child up for adoption.

How to apply for maternity leave in the Air Force

When you're a female Airman in the Air Force, you can apply for maternity leave via LeaveWeb, the Air Force financial leave request and approval system. There is a direct link to the LeaveWeb website, and it can also be accessed through the Air Force portal.

There's a self-registration form that has to be filled out on LeaveWeb. You'll have to enter your:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Service (Air Force in this case)
  • Rank
  • Role
  • Location
  • Base
  • Unit
  • Supervisor etc.

Once that’s completed, you’ll then register with your common access card (CAC). Once you've registered, you'll also have the option of requesting maternity leave.

Request maternity leave in the Air Force via DoNotPay

Applying for maternity leave in the Air Force can be a complicated process. There are different types of parental leave that you can take. Plus, you also have to figure out if you are a primary or a secondary caregiver. And once you've figured all this out, you have to navigate LeaveWeb.

It's much easier to simply use DoNotPay to apply for maternity leave. DoNotPay will ask you a few simple questions and walk you through the process of application so you can go back to preparing for your baby.

If you want to request parental leave but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 6 easy steps:

  1. Tell us which state you work in (if you work in CA, NY, NJ, MA, WA, or DC, your state has a paid family leave program).

  2. Choose whether you want us to apply to the program for you or contact your employer with your leave request. If you want to apply for the program, we will walk you through the questions on the form and mail the application form for you.

  3. If you want us to contact your employer, enter your leave details, including the starting date, number of weeks of leave, and how many weeks of paid leave you are requesting (for example, you may take a 12 week leave, but only request 8 weeks of paid leave to make the request reasonable).

  4. Indicate whether you are the birth parent or not (birth parents have a few additional protections).

  5. Enter the name of your company and the person to address this request to.

  6. Select whether you want us to email the request to your employer on your behalf.

Requesting maternity leave doesn't have to be a chore. You don't have to wade through densely written instructions and navigate complex computer systems. Instead, use DoNotPay!

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