Voluntary Plan FAQs

Get answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) we receive about the Voluntary Plan (VP).

Employees

California law allows your employer to offer you a Voluntary Plan (VP) for disability and 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. It cannot cost you more than SDI.

Refer to Voluntary Plan Claim Eligibility and Requirements for more information.

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 (VP) 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 (SDI). Check with your employer to make sure your claim was referred.

If your Voluntary Plan denies disability or family leave benefits and you disagree, you can appeal the decision and have a hearing before an impartial administrative law judge. Your employer will provide a denial letter with your rights and instructions on how to appeal.

Disability Insurance

Mail us a detailed letter stating why you think the VP denial is incorrect. Be sure to:

  • Print and sign your name on the appeal letter.
  • Include your Social Security number.
  • Include your address and telephone number.
  • Include your employer’s VP number.
  • Explain the reason for appealing the decision.

We will file the 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.

Paid 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. You will need to:

  • Print and sign your name on the appeal letter.
  • Include your Social Security number.
  • Include your address and telephone number.
  • Include your employer’s VP number.
  • Include a brief factual statement of why the EDD should accept coverage.
  • Attach a copy of the denial letter.

Send the appeal to your local Office of Appeals and a copy to the EDD office. For information on the Office of Appeals for your area, call SDI Customer Service at 1-916-657-5113.

You must attend your appeal hearing. If you do not attend, the appeal will be dismissed. For more information, visit Filing an Appeal.

Contact your employer’s human resources or third party administrator (TPA) 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 us at 1-916-657-5113 for help with your appeal.

State Disability Insurance provides this information to you and your employer to help determine your wages and benefit amount. The benefit amount 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, with one employer providing State Disability Insurance (SDI) coverage and the other a Voluntary Plan (VP), you can receive simultaneous coverage. Both companies are equally responsible for paying a portion of your benefit. But, you will not receive twice the normal benefit amount.

Yes. Contact your employer’s human resources or third party administrator (TPA) for information on transferring coverage.

Employers

For additional information about the Voluntary Plan program:

To verify a California physician/practitioner license you must use one of the following:

To verify an out of state physician/practitioner license you must use one of the following:

  • Medical Board (if available) of the county or state of practice.
  • A copy of the license from the physician/practitioner who certified the claimant’s illness or injury.
  • A copy of the physician/practitioner’s license or registration with the office seal or stamp of the local state licensing or regulatory agency.
  • Official document from the state licensing or regulatory agency, certifying that the physician/practitioner is duly licensed or certified in the state.
  • Confirmation of the physician/practitioner’s license status by viewing the state licensing agency’s verification website.
  • Confirmation of the physician/practitioner’s license status by speaking directly with the state regulatory or licensing agency staff that are responsible for license verification.

To verify a foreign physician/practitioner license you must use of the following:

  • Medical Board (if available) of the country or region of practice.
  • A copy of the foreign license from the physician/practitioner who certified the claimant’s illness or injury or contact the local medical licensing entity.
  • A copy of the physician/practitioner’s license or registration with the office seal or stamp of the foreign licensing or regulatory agency.
  • Official document from the foreign licensing or regulatory agency, certifying that the physician/practitioner is duly licensed or certified in the foreign country.
  • Confirmation of the physician/practitioner’s license status by viewing the foreign country licensing agency’s verification website.
  • Confirmation of the physician/practitioner’s license status by speaking directly with the foreign country regulatory or licensing agency staff that are responsible for license verification.

Yes. The Voluntary Plan includes both disability and family leave 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 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.

Once you have registered in BPO, call the VP Group at 1-916-653-6839 to complete the set-up process for SDI Online. For more information, visit Manage Your Voluntary Plan.

San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance

No. We will only audit procedures according to the California Unemployment Insurance Code, Title 22 Regulations, and the Voluntary Plan Employers Plan. We have no oversight requirements for the Paid Parental Leave Ordinance.

Contact the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement by email at pplo@sfgov.org or 1-415-554-6731 for questions about the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance.


Last Revised: 11/01/2021

Register for Benefit Programs Online

Creating an account is an important step in this process. With Benefit Programs Online, you can submit the required Disability Insurance employee forms in SDI Online.

Additional Resources

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