Disability Insurance Elective Coverage FAQs

We offer an optional Disability Insurance Elective Coverage (DIEC) program for employers, independent contractors, and self-employed people who don’t pay into State Disability Insurance (SDI) but want to be covered by Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL).

Usually, you are eligible for benefits after participating in the DIEC program for at least six months from the approved start date of your plan.

However, if you worked as an employee in California for an employer who previously deducted SDI contributions 5 to 18 months before your DIEC plan, you may have wage earnings in your base period, which could give you a valid claim to begin your DI or PFL leave sooner.

Benefits are based on the income credits during the four quarters of the base period of your claim, not on your actual earnings during those quarters. Income credits are based on net profit reported to the IRS on your tax forms up to four years prior, depending on the timing of your claim.  Please contact the DIEC Unit at 1-916-654-6288 if you have questions on income credits.

Yes. DIEC benefits are payable whether you are hurt on or off the job unless you carry workers’ compensation coverage for yourself.

You may continue to receive income or profits from your business and still be eligible for either DI or PFL benefits. Learn more about eligibility requirements for:

You will receive a statement at the end of each quarter showing the amount due. Your premium or payment is due by the last day of the month following the end of the quarter.

Yes. Premiums still need to be paid but may be adjusted for a full or partial quarter. For more information, contact your local Employment Tax Office.

You have 30 days to submit your DIEC payment. If your DIEC plan is more than two years old and your premiums are not paid by the late date shown on your quarterly statement, you will receive a late notice and penalties and interest will be added. If payment, plus the penalty and interest, is not received within 30 days of the date shown on the late notice, your DIEC coverage may be canceled. If your plan is fewer than two years old, we may assess and collect the unpaid amount.

After choosing DIEC, you must stay in the plan for two full calendar years. After that, you can cancel your coverage by submitting a request during the month of January. The EDD can also cancel your DIEC. Cancellation will be effective January 1.

To continue your EC eligibility, you must show a minimum profit of $4,600 per year. If your profits fall below this level for three consecutive years, the EDD may cancel your coverage.

Contact DIEC Unit

To speak with a representative, call:

  • DIEC unit at 1-916-654-6288.
  • EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886.
  • TTY users dial the California Relay Service at 711.

Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Offices are closed weekends and holidays.

For questions about DI or PFL, contact State Disability Insurance by telephone, in person, or mail.