FAQs - Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits
Yes. You have the option to choose either an EDD debit card issued by Bank of America or a check when you file your claim.
The Employment Development Department (EDD) calculates your weekly benefit amount using a base period. This base period covers 12 months and is divided into four consecutive quarters of three months each. The wages you were paid approximately 5 to 18 months before the disability claim begins are included in the base period (they must have been subject to the State Disability Insurance [SDI] tax). Your base period does not include wages paid at the time your disability begins. For more detailed information, visit Calculating Disability Benefit Payment Amounts or try the Weekly Benefit Amount Calculator tool to estimate your benefit amount.
For claims with a start date on or after January 1, 2019, your weekly benefit amount is approximately 60 to 70 percent (depending on income) of wages earned 5 to 18 months prior to your claim start date.
These wages are subject to State Disability Insurance taxes. To qualify for the maximum weekly benefit amount of $1,252, you must earn at least $27,126.67 in a calendar quarter 5 to 18 months prior to your claim start date. To determine what quarters will be used to calculate your WBA, visit Calculating Disability Insurance Benefit Payment Amounts.
How your WBA is calculated:
- If your highest quarterly earnings are less than $928.99, your WBA is $50.
- If your highest quarterly earnings are between $929 and $5,385.37, your WBA is approximately 70 percent of your earnings.
- If your highest quarterly earnings are more than $5,385.38, your weekly benefit amount is approximately 60 percent of your earnings.
For additional questions, contact SDI.
No. DI only provides monetary benefits; however, your job may be protected through other laws, such as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The FMLA and CFRA are leave laws that allow you to take unpaid leave from your job to care for yourself, family members who are ill, or children who are unable to take care of themselves. DI does not change either law in any way and is completely separate from them. DI provides up to 52 weeks of paid benefits to you when you have a wage loss when taking time off work for your own non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. If your employer is subject to the provisions of the FMLA and CFRA, they may require you to take FMLA and CFRA leave at the same time as DI.
For more information about the FMLA, visit the Department of Labor or call 1-866-487-2365. For more information about the CFRA, visit the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or call 1-800-884-1684.
- My physician/practitioner says I will be unable to work for over a year. How long can I collect DI benefits?
You may collect up to 52 weeks of full DI benefits, or the amount of wages in your base period, whichever is less. You may be paid for periods longer than 52 weeks if your benefits are reduced because you returned to work on a part-time basis, or if you received other money during your disability claim period. You may want to contact the Social Security Administration if your disability will be extended beyond that time.
- I have received my Notice of Computation (DE 429D) from DI, but I haven't received a benefit payment yet. Why not?
The EDD sends you the Notice of Computation (DE 429D) to inform you of your potential weekly and maximum benefit amount based on the wages you earned in your base period. The EDD may need more information before making a decision about your eligibility. Benefit payments are normally issued within two weeks of the EDD receiving a properly completed claim online or by mail; however, if we need additional information, more time may be needed to process your claim.
Receiving this notice does NOT confirm that you have been found eligible to receive DI benefits.
- I got my first benefit payment for DI benefits, but I wasn’t paid for the first seven days. Why not?
The first seven days of every claim is a non-payable waiting period. If a claim is filed for the same or related cause or condition within 60 days of the initial claim, it will be processed as a continuation of the initial claim for which a waiting period was already served. There will not be a new waiting period in such cases.
No. Once your claim is established, your base period and your DI weekly benefit amount remain the same for the span of that disability claim.
Your DI benefits are not reportable for tax purposes with one exception. If you are receiving UI benefits, become unable to work due to a disability, and begin receiving DI benefits, your DI benefits are considered a substitution for your UI benefits, and will then be reportable for tax purposes.
If DI benefits are reportable, a notice will accompany the first benefit payment sent to you advising that the benefits are being reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In January the EDD will provide you with a 1099G form showing the reportable amounts paid (no more than the original UI maximum) and forward a copy of the 1099G to the Internal Revenue Service.
Yes. However, Social Security may reduce the amount you receive for DI benefits. For Social Security Administration (SSA) eligibility requirements, visit the SSA website.
You must report in writing or contact the EDD immediately:
- If you have returned to part-time or full-time work.
- If you have recovered from your disability.
- If you have received any wages from your employer.
- To report a date of death on behalf of a deceased claimant.
To advise the EDD in writing of your return to work, return the Notice of Automatic Payment (DE 2587) form, or contact the EDD at 1-800-480-3287. For more information, visit Reporting Your Wages While on Disability.
You must report the following wages to the EDD: Back Pay, Bereavement Pay, Bonus Pay, Commissions, Donated Sick Leave Credits, Earnings from Partial Return to Work, Holiday Pay, In Home Support Services wages, In Lieu of Notice Pay, Military Pay, Paid Family Leave benefits, Paid Time Off, Plant Shut Down Pay, Residuals, Rerun Fees, Reuse Fees, Sick Leave Pay, UI benefits, or workers’ compensation benefits. For more information, visit Reporting Your Wages While on Disability.
If you fail to notify the EDD of these changes, you may cause an overpayment. An overpayment happens when you receive DI benefits you were not eligible to receive. If you knowingly report incorrect information, or withhold information, then a false statement disqualification of up to 92 days will be applied. In addition, any resulting overpayment will be increased by a 30 percent penalty.
If you have recovered or returned to work, you must notify the EDD via SDI Online, US mail, or calling the DI office at 1-800-480-3287 immediately.
If your claim is eligible for automatic payment, you will receive a Notice of Automatic Payment (DE 2587) form at the time your first payment is issued. If you recover or return to work before your expected recovery date, you need to submit the DE 2587 form to the EDD. If you have an SDI Online account, you may submit online by selecting the link “2587 Notice of Automatic Payment” in your SDI Online inbox. You will receive an email instructing you to log into your SDI Online account when the form is available to complete.
If you are not on automatic payment, you will receive a Claim for Continued Disability Benefits (DE 2500A) every two weeks. If you have recovered or returned to work, complete section 1 and provide the date you returned to work or recovered. If you have an SDI Online account and selected “electronic” as your preferred communication, you will not receive the DE 2500A in the mail. If you misplaced the DE 2500A, you may request the form via your SDI Online account or by calling 1-800-480-3287.
To report a deceased claimant of Disability Insurance benefit payments, contact the Disability Insurance Office at 1-800-480-3287.
You may also notify the EDD by writing to the PO Box address printed on the payment notice. Be sure to provide the claimant’s name and date of death, and your name, address, and phone number so we can contact you with additional instructions. Benefits are payable through the date of death if otherwise eligible.
To prevent an overpayment, you must report the following information in writing or contact the EDD immediately if you:
- Returned to part-time or full-time work.
- Have recovered from your disability.
- Received wages from your employer.
- Need to report a date of death for a deceased claimant.
Please ensure your employer promptly returns the Notice to Employer of Disability Insurance (DI) Claim Filed (DE 2503) form.
If you recover or return back to work, you need to return the Notice of Automatic Payment (DE 2587) form, or contact DI at 1-800-480-3287.
For more information, visit Benefit Overpayments.
First, you must have received your billing notice. The Benefit Overpayment Statement of Amount Due (DE 8301R) form is a billing notice that is mailed to you each month. If you have not yet received or lost this notice, please contact the EDD at 1-800-480-3287.
Visit Benefit Overpayments to make a payment. Options for payment are:
- Online by Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit (no fee) or by credit card (fee applies).
- By phone with a credit card through Official Payments Corporation (fee applies).
- By mail using a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order (no fee).
For more information, view the Make a Payment on a Benefit Overpayment (YouTube) tutorial.