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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

FAQs – Disability Insurance (DI) Eligibility

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Workers who lose wages when they are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or injury, pregnancy, or childbirth, may be eligible for DI benefits. For more information, visit Am I Eligible for DI Benefits.

You must complete and submit Part A and Part B of the Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits (DE 2501) form within 49 days from the date your disability begins or you may lose benefits.

It depends on your situation. To qualify for DI benefits, you must be either working or looking for work at the time your disability begins. The Employment Development Department (EDD) encourages you to file a claim for benefits, even if you are unsure of your eligibility.

Yes. If all employers deducted the State Disability Insurance (SDI) contribution from your paychecks your DI benefits will reflect all jobs with earnings within your base period. To ensure that we have correct information regarding all jobs, you need to tell the EDD about all employment on your application form. You do this by listing the name, address, telephone number, and last day you worked for each employer.

No. Eligibility for DI is based on the earnings shown in your base period. The wages you earn approximately 5 to 18 months before the disability claim begins are included in the base period. You must have at least $300 in wages in the base period and they must have been subject to the SDI tax contribution. Your base period does not include wages paid at the time your disability begins.

No. The laws governing the SDI program state you are not eligible to receive DI during the same period of time for which you are eligible to receive UI. For more information on California Unemployment Insurance Code, Section 2628, visit California Legislative Informaton.

Perhaps. Some government workers, including school employees, may be eligible for DI benefits due to their collective bargaining contract. Also, if you have wages from a private employer during the base period, you may be eligible even though your present employer is a local government entity. The EDD encourages you to file a claim for benefits, even if you are unsure of your eligibility.

Yes. Elective and cosmetic surgeries are covered by DI. Your physician/practitioner must certify that you cannot do your regular or customary job duties because of the surgery, and you must meet the basic eligibility requirements.

Since every claim for DI has a seven-day, non-payable waiting period, you must have a disability for at least eight calendar days to collect benefits.

Yes. Vacation pay is not in conflict with DI benefits so you can receive DI benefits at the same time.

You cannot receive DI benefits for any period in which you also received sick leave wages that are equivalent to your full salary. If you are receiving only partial sick leave wages, you may be eligible for full or partial DI benefits.

All other pay (i.e., holiday pay) must be reported for the EDD to determine your eligibility for benefits. The first seven days of the DI claim is a non-payable waiting period and any type of wages paid by the employer during the waiting period are not in conflict with DI benefits.