COVID-19 FAQs: Disability and Paid Family Leave Benefits

En español

COVID-19 main page

COVID-19 FAQs

Eligibility

If you are unable to work because you are infected or suspect you are infected with COVID-19, you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. You will need to provide a certification by your treating physician/practitioner or by a state or local health officer.

DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Most California workers are covered by DI through deductions from their paychecks (noted as “CASDI” on most paystubs).

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

Yes, if you are unable to work because you are infected or suspect you are infected with COVID-19, you can apply for Disability Insurance (DI). Your quarantine must be certified by a state or local health officer. If you are not found eligible for DI, you can apply for unemployment.

Yes, if you are unable to work and your family member’s quarantine is certified by a state or local health officer that they are infected with, or suspected of being infected with COVID-19. If you are not found eligible for PFL, you are encouraged to apply for an Unemployment Insurance claim.

If you’re unable to work because you are caring for a family member diagnosed with COVID-19 or related symptoms, you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. You will need to submit a certification by their treating physician/practitioner or a state or local health officer.  If you are not eligible for PFL, you can apply for unemployment.

PFL provides up to eight weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers  who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. For the purposes of PFL coverage, a family member is defined as seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner.

If you are self-employed, you may have benefits available from the EDD employment insurance programs that you or your employer paid into over the past 5 to 18 months. You may have contributions from a prior job, or it’s possible you have been misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee.

We encourage you to file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined because of related symptoms and are able to provide a certification by your treating physician/practitioner or a state or local health officer that you are infected with, or suspected of being infected with COVID-19.

If you are caring for an ill or medically quarantined family member, who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or related symptoms, and you can submit a certification by their treating physician/practitioner or from a state or local health officer, you are encouraged to file a Paid Family Leave claim. Our EDD representatives will review your case and determine your eligibility for benefits.

If you believe you are misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, you should list the business you contract with as your last employer. Be sure to include:

  • The employer name, phone number, and address.
  • Type of work performed.
  • Dates worked.
  • Your gross wages and how you were paid (such as hourly or weekly).

You may also be eligible for benefits if you pay into Disability Insurance Elective Coverage (DIEC). DIEC is an option for self-employed people (such as independent contractors) and employers to apply for coverage under State Disability Insurance (SDI). This includes school district and state employees who are exempt from SDI, but can negotiate to participate in the DIEC. Visit Self-Employed/Independent Contractor to learn more.

You may have benefits available through other insurance programs that your employer have paid into in the past 5 to 18 months. California law allows your employer to offer you a Voluntary Plan option instead of the State Disabilty Insurance program. You should check with your employer’s personnel or benefits office about filing a Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave.

You also may have contributions from a prior job in the past 5 to 18 months, or it’s possible you may have been misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee.

If you believe you are misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, you should list the business you contract with as your last employer. Be sure to include:

  • The employer name, phone number, and address.
  • Type of work performed.
  • Dates worked.
  • Your gross wages and how you were paid (such as hourly or weekly).

Not Eligible for Disability Insurance

If you are subject to quarantine, not ill, and not found eligible for Disability Insurance, you can apply for unemployment benefits. You may be eligible for unemployment if:

  • Your hours are reduced due to the quarantine.
  • You were separated from your employer during the quarantine.
  • You are subject to a quarantine required by a state or local health officer.

Not Eligible for Paid Family Leave

If you are unable to work due to caring for a family member as a result of COVID-19 and are not found eligible for Paid Family Leave, you can apply for unemployment benefits.

Apply for unemployment as soon as you are out of work or had your hours reduced. Unemployment Insurance representatives may need to set up a phone interview to collect more details.

Benefit Payments

Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week. The EDD provides a Disability Insurance Calculator to estimate your potential benefit amount. Disability benefits are paid through the date your doctor certifies or when you exhaust your available benefits, whichever comes first within a 52-week period.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week. You can use the Paid Family Leave Calculator to help estimate your potential benefit amount.

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

Documents and Certification

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or related symptoms, you can either submit a certification signed by a treating physician/practitioner that includes a diagnosis and ICD-10 code, or if no diagnosis has been obtained, a statement of symptoms; the start date of the condition; its probable duration; and the treating physician’s/practitioner’s license number or facility information. This requirement can also be met by a written order from a state or local health officer that is specific to your situation.

If you are unable to provide documents from a physician or health officer, you may be eligible for an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim instead.

Learn more about benefits available if you’re not eligible for DI.

For fastest processing of your claim, submit your claim online and have the supporting medical documentation submitted online immediately after.

You may also request that the EDD send you a Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits (DE 2501) (PDF) form, which can be ordered online and sent to you. Submit the completed form to the EDD using the envelope provided. If your medical documentation is provided in any other form other than EDD’s designated claim form, it should be submitted separately by mail to:

Employment Development Department
PO Box 10402
Van Nuys, CA 91410-0402

If your family member has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has symptoms related to COVID-19, you can either submit a medical certification for that person from a treating physician/practitioner that includes a diagnosis and ICD-10 code, or if no diagnosis has been obtained, a statement of symptoms; the start date of the condition; its probable duration; and the treating physician’s or practitioner’s license number or facility information. This requirement can also be met by a written order from a state or local health officer that is specific to your family member’s situation.

If your family member’s physician or practitioner is certifying to their need for care, telehealth and virtual appointments are acceptable for a physical examination, but medical certifications are still required.

If your family member suspects they have COVID-19, they do not have symptoms, but you can’t work because they are quarantined and require your care, this requirement can be met by a written order from a state or local health officer that is specific to your family member’s situation.

If you are unable to provide documents from a physician or health officer, you may be eligible for an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim instead.

Learn more about benefits available if you’re not eligible for Paid Family Leave.

For fastest processing of your claim, submit your claim online and have the supporting medical documentation submitted online immediately after.

You may also request that the EDD send you a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) (PDF) form, which can be ordered online and sent to you. Submit the completed form to the EDD using the envelope provided. If your medical documentation is provided in any other form other than the EDD’s designated claim form, it should be submitted separately by mail to:

Employment Development Department
PO Box 45011
Fresno, CA 93718-5011

Yes. Physicians and practitioners are still “seeing” patients when they use virtual platforms. Virtual appointments are acceptable for a physical examination, but medical certifications are still required.

Physician and Practitioner Information

If your patient has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has symptoms related to COVID-19, you have two options:

  1. Submit a signed medical certification that includes a diagnosis and ICD-10 code.
  2. If no diagnosis has been obtained, provide a statement of symptoms, the start date of the condition, its probable duration, and your license number or facility information. This requirement can also be met by your patient obtaining a written certification from a state or local health officer that is specific to them.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid Disability Insurance waiting period. For your patient to be eligible for this waiver, they must have COVID-19 or symptoms related to COVID-19. It is recommended you use one of the following ICD-10 codes:

  • B34.2: Coronavirus infection, unspecified.
  • B97.2: Coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere.
  • B97.21: SARS-associated coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere.
  • B97.29: Other coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere.
  • J12.81: Pneumonia due to SARS-associated coronavirus.
  • U07.1: COVID-19, virus identified.

If your patient suspects they have COVID-19, they are asymptomatic, but they can’t work because they are quarantined, they will need to submit a written order from a state or local health officer that is specific to them to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) FAQs.

If your patient has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has symptoms related to COVID-19 and requires care, you can either submit a signed medical certification that includes a diagnosis and ICD-10, or if no diagnosis has been obtained, a statement of symptoms; the start date of the condition; its probable duration; and your license number or facility information. This requirement can also be met by a written order from a state or local health officer that is specific to their family member’s situation.

If your patient suspects they have COVID-19, they are asymptomatic, but they can’t work because they are quarantined and require care, this requirement can be met by a written order from a state or local health officer that is specific to their family member’s situation.

If those documents are unavailable for your patient, their caregiver may be eligible for an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim instead.

If your patient is not found eligible for Disability Insurance, they are encouraged to apply for an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. For more information, refer them to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) FAQs.

If your patient’s caregiver is not found eligible for Paid Family Leave, they are encouraged to apply for UI benefits. For more information, refer them to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) FAQs.