FAQs – Voluntary Plans


California law allows your employer to offer you a Voluntary Plan (VP) for Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave benefits in place of State Disability Insurance (SDI) coverage. Your VP must provide all the benefits of SDI and at least one benefit that is better than SDI. It cannot cost you more than SDI.

For more information, visit Voluntary Plan Claim Eligibility and Requirements.

Contact your employer’s personnel or benefits office for more information or to file a Voluntary Plan claim.

Your claim for State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits was referred to a Voluntary Plan (VP) because there is a question of who your SDI provider is. The VP carrier has 25 days to respond to our referral. We will contact you after we receive their response, but we cannot pay you benefits during the 25-day period.

No. You are covered under the Voluntary Plan and are not eligible for State Disability Insurance.

If you’re not covered by your employer’s Voluntary Plan, your employer will refer your claim for benefits to State Disability Insurance. Check with your employer to make sure your claim was referred.

If your Voluntary Plan (VP) denies disability or family leave benefits and you disagree, you have the right to appeal the decision and have a hearing before an impartial Administrative Law Judge. Your employer will provide a letter with your denial telling you about your right to appeal and giving you instructions about filing the appeal.


Send the EDD a detailed letter stating why you think the VP denial is incorrect. Print and sign your name on the appeal letter, and include your Social Security number, address, and telephone number. State Disability Insurance (SDI) will file the necessary appeal documents with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board local Office of Appeals but will not pay benefits during the appeal period or attend the hearing.

Family Leave

Complete an Appeal for Determination of Coverage (DE 1000DC). To request a copy of the DE 1000DC, email the VP Group or call 1-916-653-6839. Include a brief factual statement of why the EDD should accept coverage, attach a copy of the denial letter, and send the appeal to the appropriate Office of Appeals and a copy to the EDD office. For information on the appropriate Office of Appeals for your area, call SDI Customer Service at 1-916-657-5113.

It is important that you attend your appeal hearing. If you fail to appear, the appeal will be dismissed.

For more information, visit Filing an Appeal.

Contact your employer or their agent to find out the reason for the delay. If you feel the reason is unsatisfactory, you can file an appeal for presumed denial of benefits. Call 1-916-657-5113 for help with your appeal.

State Disability Insurance provides this information to you and your employer to help in determining your wages and benefit amount. The benefit amount listed on the Notice of Computation - DI (DE 429D) or Notice of Computation – PFL (DE 429DF) shows the minimum amount your employer’s plan must pay you.

Yes. If you are working for two different employers at the time of your disability or family leave, with one employer providing State Disability Insurance coverage and the other by a Voluntary Plan, you can receive simultaneous coverage. Both companies are equally responsible for paying a portion of your benefit. However, you will not receive twice the normal benefit amount.

Yes. Contact your employer’s Voluntary Plan representative or benefits department for information on transferring coverage.


For additional information about the Voluntary Plan program:

Employment Development Department
Disability Insurance Branch, MIC 29 VP
P.O. Box 826880
Sacramento, CA 94280-0001

Physician/practitioner license verification is based on receipt of one of the following types of supporting information or documentation:

  • Official document from the state or foreign licensing or regulatory agency, certifying that the physician/practitioner is duly licensed or certified in the state or foreign country.
  • A copy of the physician/practitioner’s license or registration bearing the office seal or stamp of the state or foreign licensing or regulatory agency.
  • Confirmation of the physician/practitioner’s license status by viewing the state or foreign country licensing agency’s internet website, established for license verification purposes.
  • Confirmation of the physician/practitioner’s license status by speaking directly with the state or foreign country regulatory or licensing agency staff, responsible for providing official license verification services.

Use the following resources to verify foreign licensed physicians/practitioners:

Yes. The Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance Program includes both Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits. Employees are eligible for paid leave to care for a seriously ill family member, bond with a new child entering the family, or assist a covered family member in the armed forces during a qualifying military event.

To view the PFL state law, visit California Unemployment Insurance Code 3300.

To file your Voluntary Plan (VP) employer reports using SDI Online, you must first complete a one-time registration in Benefit Programs Online (BPO).

  1. Go to the Log in to Benefit Programs Online page.
  2. Select Register now to set up a new account.

For additional BPO registration information, watch the BPO registration video.

You can register 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Once you have registered in BPO, call the VP Group at 916-653-6839 to complete the set up process for SDI Online. For more information about VP, visit Voluntary Plans or call the VP Group at 916-653-6839.

Note: If you are a VP claimant, contact your employer to file your Disability Insurance claim.

San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance

No. The EDD auditors will only audit procedures in accordance with the California Unemployment Insurance Code, Title 22 Regulations, and the Voluntary Plan Employers Plan. The EDD has no oversight requirements regarding the Paid Parental Leave Ordinance .

Contact the City and County of San Francisco, Office of Labor Standards Enforcement by email at pplo@sfgov.org or 1-415-554-6731 with questions regarding the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance.