All employees are required to contribute to the cost of the California State Disability program. Below is a brief overview of the benefits you are entitled to through the State of California.
California State Disability
A disability is defined as any mental or physical illness or injury which prevents you from performing your regular or customary work (California Unemployment Insurance Code, Section 2626). State Disability Insurance is designed to provide an employee with a percentage of their wages based upon the amount of wages earned in a 12 month period of time. This time is known as your base period.
To be eligible to receive State Disability Insurance benefits, you must meet all of the following requirements:
Current weekly benefit amount ranges from $50 to $490, with a maximum of 52 times this weekly benefit or the total wages earned in your base period, whichever is less. Note that the first seven days of a disability claim are not payable. The first step in applying for SDI benefits is to complete a SDI claim form, DE 2501 and have your medical provider certify that you can no longer perform your regular job duties. Once submitted, a check is normally received within 14 days.
For further information and materials related to SDI, please contact your local Employment Development Department (EDD):
Oakland (510) 577-2300
SDI - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I have to be working for a certain amount of days/ months/ years to be eligible for SDI?
A: Eligibility for SDI is based in the earnings shown in your base period. Your base period does not include wages paid at the time your disability begins.
Q: Are self-employed individuals eligible for SDI?
A: Self-employed individuals or employers may be eligible for SDI under a program called Disability Insurance Elective Coverage (EC). EC premiums are based on the net profit you reported on IRS schedule SE for the previous tax year. Weekly benefit amounts range from $50 to $490, up to a maximum of 39 weeks and are determined using the quarterly income credits as reported on the IRS Form 1040, Schedule SE. EC applications may be obtained through your local Employment Tax Customer Service Office (ETCSO) or EDD Tax Branch.
Q: How many days must you be off work to receive SDI Benefits?
A: You must be disabled at least 8 calendar days (this includes the 7 day waiting period) to collect benefits.
Q: How do you determine my weekly benefit amount for SDI? How much will I receive?
A: Weekly benefit amounts are calculated using a base period. A base period covers 12 months and is divided into four consecutive quarters or three months each. The following chart will help you determine the base period for your claim:
Q : My doctor says I will be disabled for over a year. How long can I collect SDI benefits?
A: You may collect up to 52 weeks of full SDI benefits, or the amount of wages in your base period, which ever is less.
Q: If I am pregnant, can I file a claim for SDI benefits? Is so, for how long?
A: Yes. The usual disability period for a normal pregnancy is up to four weeks before the expected delivery date and up to six weeks after the actual delivery date. However, the doctor may certify a longer period if the delivery is accomplished by Cesarean section, if there are medical complications, or if the claimant is unable to perform her regular job duties.
Q: I was on disability for a few weeks and now my doctors tell me I can return to work part-time. Will I still receive SDI benefits?
A: Yes, SDI will pay benefits up to your regular salary, limited to the amount of your weekly benefit. That is, SDI will "make up" the difference between your "regular" salary and your new wage loss. However, this will never be in excess of your weekly benefit rate. Since each situation is different, if you return to work on a part-time basis, please contact SDI for clarification.
Q: If I regularly work part-time, am I still eligible for SDI benefits?
A: You may receive benefits as long as you have at least $300 in gross wages in your base period, are suffering a loss of wages, and meet other basic eligible requirements.
Q: If I know of someone who is defrauding the SDI program, what should I do?
A: If you suspect or know of SDI fraud, contact SDI or call the EDD Fraud Tip Hot-Line at 1-800-229-6297.