Disability Insurance – Benefits and Payments FAQs

Get answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) we receive about Disability Insurance (DI) benefits and payments.

If you think you’re eligible for disability benefits, file a claim to apply.

We will calculate 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.

Your weekly benefit amount is about 60 to 70 percent (depending on income) of wages earned 5 to 18 months before your claim start date, up to the maximum weekly benefit amount. You must have been paying SDI taxes on these wages (usually noted as CASDI on your paystub). Your base period does not include wages paid at the time your disability begins.

You can get a general estimate of your weekly benefit amount using our Weekly Benefit Calculator. This calculator should be used as an estimate only.

Most benefit payments are issued within two weeks after we receive a properly completed claim online or by mail. By submitting your application completely and verifying that all information is correct, you help make sure your benefit payment is issued more quickly.

Yes. When you file your claim, you can choose to receive your benefit payment by an debit card from Bank of America or a check issued by us.

The first seven days of every new claim is a non-payable waiting period. The first payable day is the eighth day of your claim. Review the step-by-step overview for the DI Claim Process to learn more.

The Governor’s Executive Order N-25-20, signed March 12, 2020, waives the one-week unpaid waiting period for COVID-related DI claims with a start date of January 24, 2020, through September 30, 2021. You can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work.

Note: The Governor’s Executive Order N-08-21, signed June 11, 2021, returns the requirement to serve the one-week unpaid waiting period for COVID-related DI claims with a start date on or after October 1, 2021. You can collect DI benefits starting on the eighth day you are out of work.

If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

This notice does not confirm that you are eligible to receive benefits.

We send you the Notice of Computation (DE 429D) to let you know your potential weekly and maximum benefit amount based on the wages you earned in your base period. We may need more information before making a decision about your eligibility.

You can collect up to 52 weeks of full Disability Insurance (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 can contact the Social Security Administration if your disability extends beyond what DI allows.

No. Once your claim starts, your base period and your Disability Insurance (DI) weekly benefit amount stay the same.

No, your Disability Insurance (DI) benefits are not reportable for tax purposes. However, if you are receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, become unable to work due to a disability, and begin receiving DI benefits, a portion of your DI benefits will  be reported for tax purposes.

If this happens, we will send you a notice with your first benefit payment. This notice will tell you that your benefits are being reported to the IRS. In January we will provide you with a 1099G form showing the reportable amounts paid (no more than your original UI maximum). We will also send a copy of the 1099G to the IRS.

You must report in writing or contact us immediately if you:

  • Have returned to part time or full time work.
  • Have recovered from your disability.
  • Have received any wages.
  • Need to report a date of death for a deceased claimant.

It is important to report your wages to:

  • Receive the correct benefit amount.
  • Prevent an overpayment.

If you don’t report your income or a change in work status, you could receive an overpayment, penalties, and a false statement disqualification.

You must report the wages you received or changes to your status like returning to work, or you could face an overpayment. This happens when you receive benefits you were not eligible for and has serious consequences.

For more information, review FAQs – Benefit Overpayments.

If you have recovered or returned to work, notify us immediately by using your SDI Online account, by mail, or by calling the Disability Insurance office at 1-800-480-3287.

For more information, visit Continue or Stop Your Benefits.

We have no control over issues involving wages, hours of work, or conditions of employment.

You can contact the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division or California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, who has responsibility over employment and leave issues, including employment termination during a family leave.

No. Termination will not interfere with your benefits as long as you continue to meet the other eligibility requirements.

The US Department of Labor (DOL) provides a temporary extension of health benefits at group rates for certain former employees through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) program. For more information, contact the DOL at 1-866-275-7922. For TTY, use 1-877-889-5627.

There are two ways you can notify us of the deceased claimant’s date of death to stop their benefit payments:

  • Phone: Call us at 1-800-480-3287.
  • Mail: Use the PO Box address printed on the payment notice.

If eligible, benefits are payable through the date of death. We will need the following information to stop benefit payments and contact you with additional instructions:

  • Claimant’s full name
  • Claimant’s date of death
  • Your full name
  • Your address
  • Your phone number

First, you must have received your billing notice. Benefit Overpayment Statement of Amount Due (DE 8301R) is a notice that is mailed to you each month. If you have not yet received this notice or have lost it, contact us at 1-800-480-3287.

It is important to repay a benefit overpayment as soon as possible to avoid collection and legal action. There are several payment options to repay a benefit overpayment, including using your Benefit Programs Online account.

For more information, review Make a Payment on a Benefit Overpayment (YouTube) or review FAQs – Benefit Overpayments.

We will issue payments in one of two ways:

  • Electronic: If you choose this option, your benefit payments will be deposited to a debit card sent to you. Or, they will be added to an unexpired debit card from a previous Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, or Paid Family Leave claim. Once your first payment is approved, expect the payment to be available within five business days.
  • By Mail: If you choose this option, your benefit payments will be issued by EDD check. Allow 10 days from the date the check was issued for delivery.

If you have not received your payment in the timeframe listed above, contact us. If it has been more than 10 days since your check was issued, we will confirm if your check has already been cashed. If it has, we will mail you a copy of the check and the endorsing signature. If the signature is yours, no further action is needed. If the signature is not yours, contact us for further instructions.

Checks are valid for one year. If your check has expired, contact us for benefit payment instructions.

No. Benefit payments are not issued from our local offices. Benefit payments are sent electronically or by mail only.

No, we will not accept any documents directly from you related to court-ordered child support payments. All court orders to begin or end child support obligations are submitted to us through California Child Support Services.

Contact the Child Support Services office nearest you for any questions.

Yes, you can receive Disability Insurance (DI) benefits, but you cannot continue receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. If your physician/practitioner certifies that your disability prevents you from working, you can file a claim for DI benefits. To end your UI benefits, simply stop certifying for unemployment and contact us to suspend your unemployment benefits. We will schedule a phone interview with you so that you can begin receiving DI benefits.

Last Revised: 07/02/2021

Register for Benefit Programs Online

Creating an account is an important step in this process. With Benefit Programs Online, you can apply for Disability Insurance (DI) and manage your claim in SDI Online.

Additional Resources

Can’t find what you’re looking for? View these resources for more information.