Disability Insurance Eligibility FAQs
Workers who lose wages when they are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth may be eligible for Disability Insurance benefits. For more information, visit Am I Eligible for DI Benefits.
- If I pay into State Disability Insurance but don’t live in California, am I still eligible for benefits?
Yes. Where you live does not affect your eligibility.
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.
To qualify for Disability Insurance benefits, you must be working or looking for work at the time your disability begins. We encourage you to file a claim for benefits, even if you are not sure you’re eligible.
Yes. If all employers deducted the State Disability Insurance contribution from your paychecks, your Disability Insurance benefits will reflect all jobs with earnings within your base period. Report all employment on your application form by listing the name, address, telephone number, and last day you worked for each employer.
No. Disability Insurance eligibility is based on the earnings shown in your base period. Your base period includes wages you earned about 5 to 18 months before your disability claim begins. You must have at least $300 in wages in your base period, and they must have been subject to the State Disability Insurance tax deduction. Your base period does not include wages paid at the time your disability begins.
No. You may not receive Disability Insurance and Unemployment Insurance benefits at the same time. For more information, view Unemployment Insurance Code, Section 2628 .
Perhaps. Some government workers, including school employees, may be eligible for Disability Insurance benefits due to their collective bargaining contract. Also, if you have wages from a private employer in your base period, you may be eligible even though your current employer is a local government entity. We encourage you to file a claim for benefits, even if you are not sure you’re eligible.
Yes. Elective and cosmetic surgeries are covered by Disability Insurance. Your physician/practitioner must certify that you are unable to do your regular or customary job duties because of the surgery. You must also meet the basic eligibility requirements.
Disability Insurance claims have a seven-day, non-payable waiting period. You must be unable to work due to your disability for at least eight calendar days to collect benefits.
- Can I receive benefits if my employer is going to pay me vacation, sick, or holiday pay during my claim?
Yes. Vacation pay is not in conflict with Disability Insurance (DI) benefits, so you can receive DI benefits at the same time.
You cannot receive DI benefits for any period in which you also receive sick leave wages that are equal to your full salary. If you receive only partial sick leave wages, you may be eligible for full or partial DI benefits.
All other pay, such as holiday pay, must be reported to determine your eligibility. The first seven days of your DI claim is a non-payable waiting period. Any type of wages paid by the employer during the waiting period are not in conflict with DI benefits.
You may qualify for up to 30 days of Disability Insurance benefits if you are a resident of an approved alcoholic residential rehabilitation facility. An additional 60 days may be paid if you remain a resident of the facility and your physician/practitioner continues to certify to your need for continuing residential services.
- Will benefits cover me for going to a drug rehabilitation facility recommended by my physician/practitioner?
You may qualify for up to 45 days of Disability Insurance benefits if you are a resident of an approved drug-free residential rehabilitation facility. An additional 45 days may be paid if you remain a resident of the facility and your physician/practitioner continues to certify to your need for continuing residential services.
- A judge said I did not have to go to jail if I entered a drug or alcoholic rehabilitation center. Can I receive benefits for the time I spend there?
No. The State Disability Insurance program does not pay Disability Insurance benefits for confinement in any place because of a criminal violation of a federal, state, or municipal law or ordinance. The places include federal, state, or other municipal penal institutions, jails, medical facilities, or public or private hospitals.