About Disability Insurance
Disability Insurance (DI) is a part of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. It provides partial wage replacement benefits to eligible California workers who are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. SDI contributions are paid by California workers through employee payroll deductions.
DI does not provide job protection, only monetary benefits; however, your job may be protected through other federal or state laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
Disability is an illness or injury, either physical or mental, which prevents you from performing your regular and customary work. Disability also includes elective surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical conditions.
Although work-related disabilities are covered by workers’ compensation laws, DI benefits may also be paid for work-related illness or injuries under certain circumstances. You can learn more about the difference between workers’ compensation and DI.
Disability Insurance Benefit Payments
If you are eligible, you can receive about 60 to 70 percent (depending on income) of wages earned 5 to 18 months before your claim start date. You can be paid benefits for a maximum of 52 weeks. For more information, review Calculating Disability Benefit Payment Amounts.
To receive benefits, you must:
- File a claim for DI benefits using SDI Online or by mail.
- Complete a seven-day, unpaid waiting period.
- Have earned at least $300 in wages that are subject to SDI deductions (“CASDI” on your paystubs) during the 12-month base period of your claim.
- Have your physician/practitioner certify to your disability by completing the Physician/Practitioner Certification.
- Choose your payment option when you file your claim.
To learn more, review the following: