California State Disability Insurance

What is California State Disability Insurance?

For those who don’t know, California State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a program that offers partial wage replacement for workers in the state of California. The initiative is mandated by the state and subsequently funded from payroll taxes charged on employees. SDI offers affordable temporary benefits to eligible workers in California. Those covered by SDI are protected by two benefits; DI and PFL. DI gives temporary benefits to eligible persons who have lost their source of livelihood or who are unable to perform any work because of injury or any illness that’s not related to work. PFL on the other hand gives benefits to those who have lost pay when they need to take care of a sick or ailing family member or even bonding with a new child.

california short term disability

What are the guidelines for SDI?

  • To request California State Disability you must duly fill and file a Disability claim form within 49 days from the date you were disabled or when the family leave begins. Otherwise you may lose your benefits. (DI & PFL)
  • You must be incapacitated to carry out your duties in your normal job for not less than 8 consecutive days (due to the need to provide care to a relative or bond with a new born, or a newly adopted child, or foster care placement of the child). (DI& PFL)
  • You must either be gainfully employed or was actively seeking employment when you became disabled/family leave begins. (DI & PFL)
  • You earned a wage or salary of at least $300 and out of which SDI deductions had been held in a past period. (DI & PFL)
  • You must have lost wages because of your disability/family leave, or if you are out of work, must have actively sought for employment. (DI & PFL)
  • You were under the care and treatment of a licensed medical professional in the first 8 days of disability. (DI)
  • You must have remained under special care or undergone treatment so as to be eligible to receive benefits. (DI)
  • Your medical professional must provide a medical certification to prove your disability. A physician or nurse practitioner can certify the existence of disability within their scope of practice. The health practitioner is required to carry out a physical examination and work jointly with either a licensed physician or certified surgeon. (DI & PFL)
  • You took time to actively take care of an extremely ill child, spouse, or a sick parent, or grandparent/child, or partner. (PFL)

What happens if I’m denied California State Disability (SDI)?

In the event you are denied entry into the California State disability program it doesn’t mean all is lost, you will be issued with Appeal Form DE 1000A along with the disqualification notice. You must send this form in within 20 days from the date you received mail of the disqualification notice from the SDI program. Fill the form properly and provide an elaborate explanation of why you think that the disqualification is wrong.

 If the Appeal form is lost, you can as well send a detailed letter to the EDD stating your case and ensure that you include all relevant information such as DI claim identification number, physical address, phone number, name printed on file, and exact signature appended on your appeal letter.

For appeals relating to PFL also include your SSN. For additional information on California State Disability program, contact the EDD at: Disability Insurance Claims: 1-800-480-3287 or Paid Family Leave Claims: 1-877-238-4373

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