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.
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:
For claims beginning on or after January 1, 2013, weekly benefits range from $50 to a maximum of $1,067. To qualify for the maximum weekly benefit amount ($1,011) an individual must earn at least $25,196.37 in a calendar quarter during the base period.
An individual’s weekly benefit amount is approximately 55 percent of his or her earnings up to the maximum weekly benefit amount. He or she may receive up to 52 weeks worth of Disability Insurance (DI) benefits. The daily benefit amount is calculated by dividing an individual’s weekly benefit amount by seven. The maximum benefit amount is calculated by multiplying an individual’s weekly benefit amount by 52 or adding the total wages subject to State Disability Insurance (SDI) tax paid in an individual’s base period, whichever is less. Exceptions are as follows:
For further information and materials related to SDI, please contact your local Employment Development Department (EDD):
Oakland (510) 577-2300
Sacramento (Customer Service Center) (916) 227-0220
San Francisco (415) 749-7400
San Jose (408) 277-9499
Santa Rosa (707) 576-2095
Or online at www.edd.cahwnet.gov
SDI – Frequently Asked Questions
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 $336, 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.
If your claim begins in February, March or April, your base period is the 12 months ending last September 30.
If your claim begins in May, June or July, your base period is the 12 months ending last December 31.
If your claim begins in August, September, or October, your base period is the 12 months ending last March 31.
If your claim begins in November, December or January, your base period is the 12 months ending last June 30.
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? If 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.