Self Employed Workers -- Family and Medical Leave Insurance

The state of Colorado has recently taken a significant leap forward in promoting family-friendly policies by introducing a groundbreaking Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program. Effective from January 1, 2024, this program offers paid leave benefits to employees and now has extended the same benefits to self-employed individuals. This move is a crucial step toward leveling the playing field and offering much-needed support to entrepreneurs and freelancers who often lack access to traditional employee benefits. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of the new FAMLI leave policy for self-employed individuals in Colorado and highlight the potential impact it may have on fostering a more inclusive and productive workforce.

Understanding the FAMLI Leave Policy:

The FAMLI Leave policy aims to provide eligible individuals with up to 12 weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child, the need to care for a seriously ill family member, or one's own serious health condition. It also encompasses time-off for military-related caregiving obligations. Previously, FAMLI benefits were limited to traditional employees only, but with the latest amendment, self-employed individuals can also access these benefits under certain conditions.

Eligibility and Requirements for Self-Employed Individuals:

To qualify for FAMLI leave benefits as a self-employed individual in Colorado, several criteria need to be met. These include:

1. Opting into the program: Self-employed individuals can choose to participate in the FAMLI program by paying premiums into the fund, ensuring their future eligibility for benefits when required.

2. Minimum income requirement: To be eligible, self-employed participants must have earned at least $2,500 in self-employment income over the previous year. The income threshold ensures that those who genuinely need the benefits can access them.

3. Consistent participation: Continuing participation is crucial to maintaining eligibility. Self-employed individuals must pay ongoing premiums and meet the necessary income requirements to remain eligible for benefits in subsequent years.

Find more information on registration here.

Benefits and Support Offered:

The FAMLI program aims to provide much-needed financial security during extended leave periods for self-employed individuals. Under the new policy, self-employed participants will receive benefits comparable to traditional employees. These benefits are determined based on a percentage of the individual's average weekly income and are subject to a maximum weekly benefit. The specific details regarding benefit calculation and the maximum cap are expected to be released closer to the implementation date.

Impact and Significance:

The inclusion of self-employed individuals in the FAMLI leave policy is a significant step toward building a more equitable and supportive work environment in Colorado. Entrepreneurs and freelancers who are the backbone of the state's economy will now have access to similar benefits as those in traditional employment. This inclusion recognizes the diverse nature of work arrangements in the modern era and empowers self-employed individuals to prioritize their well-being and caregiving responsibilities without risking financial insecurity.

The availability of paid leave for self-employed individuals can positively impact productivity as it reduces the need for individuals to choose between their business and personal needs. The ability to take time off to care for newborns, adoptive children, or seriously ill family members ensures a more compassionate and supportive work culture, ultimately benefiting the entire community.


Colorado's new FAMLI leave policy for self-employed individuals brings a new wave of positivity and equality to the state's workforce. By extending paid leave benefits to entrepreneurs and freelancers, the policy acknowledges the evolving nature of work arrangements and provides much-needed support to those who have traditionally been excluded from such benefits. The introduction of FAMLI leave for self-employed individuals is a positive development that will foster a more inclusive, productive, and empathetic work culture in Colorado.

About the author:

Paul Carriere CFP® provides fee-only financial planning and investment management services in Colorado Springs, Co. Carriere Financial Planning serves clients as a fiduciary and never earns a commission of any kind. Paul has over 9 years of experience as a financial advisor in Colorado Springs. 


1. Colorado General Assembly, "Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program Act" -

2. Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, "FAMLI Insurance Program" -

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