California State Disability Insurance
California State Disability Insurance
Eligibility for Disability Insurance (DI)
DI benefits can be paid only after you meet all of the following requirements:
- You must be unable to do your regular or customary work for at least eight consecutive days
- You must be employed or actively looking for work at the time you become disabled
- You must have lost wages because of your disability or, if unemployed, have been actively looking for work
- You must have earned at least $300 from which SDI deductions were withheld during a previous pay period
- You must be under the care and treatment of a licensed doctor or accredited religious practitioner during the first eight days of your disability. (The beginning date of a claim can be adjusted to meet this requirement.) You must remain under care and treatment to continue receiving benefits
- You must complete and mail a claim form (DE 2501) within 49 days of the date you became disabled or you may lose benefits
- Your doctor or approved health care provider must complete the medical certification of your disability.
- An independent medical examination to determine your initial or continuing eligibility may be required.
Ineligibility – Disability insurance (DI)
You may apply for benefits even if you are not sure you are eligible. If you are found to be ineligible for all or part of a period claimed, you will be notified of the ineligible period and the reason. You may not be eligible for the SDI benefits if:
- You are not suffering a loss of wages
- You are claiming or receiving Unemployment Insurance or Paid Family Leave benefits
- You became disabled while committing a crime resulting in a felony conviction
- You are in jail, prison, recovery home, or any other place because you were convicted of a crime
- You are receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits at a weekly rate equal to or greater than the DI rate
- You fail to have an independent medical examination when requested to do so
How to File a Claim
Disability Insurance provides services primarily by telephone, by mail and in person. You do not need to apply in person to receive benefits.
The online version of the claim form (DE 2501) may be filled-in and printed.
For Employers: To order claims forms for your employees, use the Order Claim Forms Link from the State Disability Insurance Benefits or call 1-800-480-3287.
Carefully decide the date you want your claim to begin as this will determine your weekly benefit amount according to the Disability Insurance (DI) & Paid Family Leave (PFL) Weekly Benefit Amount in Dollar Increments form (DE2589) or visit www.edd.ca.gov.
- Complete ALL items on the “Claim Statement of Employee” and sign it. Make certain that all information is complete and accurate since errors or omissions may cause your claim to be returned and may delay payment.
- Doctor’s Certificate: Ask your doctor to complete and sign the “Doctor’s Certificate” page 3. Certification may be made by a licensed medical or osteopathic physician and surgeon, chiropractor, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, designated psychologist or an authorized medical officer of the United States Government facility. Certification may also be made by a licensed nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, or licensed midwife for disabilities related to normal pregnancy or childbirth.
Group and Individual Coverage Coordination: If you have group and/ or individual coverage (with an insurance company) you should file your claim once you have started receiving benefits from CA SDI. Please contact your broker for the appropriate forms.
Temporary Workers’ Compensation: If you are receiving temporary Workers’ Compensation benefits and are filing for reduced DI benefits for the same days, the Doctor’s Certificate is not required.
Important: Mail your claim to the DI office nearest to your residence no earlier than 9 days – but not later than 49 days – after the first day you became disabled. Mail your completed, signed “Claim Statement of Employee” together with the completed, signed “Doctor’s Certificate” and any other supporting documents.
SDI Contribution Rates
Approximately 13 million California workers pay a mandatory contribution to the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program for Disability and Paid Family Leave insurance coverage. Worker contributions are paid through payroll deductions.
Please see the current State Disability Insurance Withholding Rate on the Tax Rate and Withholding Schedules.
The State Disability Insurance (SDI) Withholding Rate for 2011 is 1.2 percent. The SDI taxable wage limit is $93,316 per employee for calendar year 2011. The maximum tax to withhold for each employee is $1,119.79.
If you are an employer and have questions about the contribution rate, please contact your local Employment Tax Office by visiting Office Locator.