California employers or a majority of employees can apply to the EDD for approval to provide a plan for short-term disability insurance and family leave, known as a Voluntary Plan (VP), instead of State Disability Insurance (SDI) coverage. Both SDI and VP provide short-term wage replacement disability insurance and family leave benefits.
In order to offer VP, you must first apply and get approval from the EDD. For information on how to apply, visit Become a Voluntary Plan Employer.
A VP must:
- Offer the same benefits to employees as SDI.
- Provides at least one benefit that is better than SDI.
- Not cost employees more than SDI.
- Be updated to match any increase in benefits that SDI implements from legislation or approved regulation.
You can process VP claims conveniently and securely using SDI Online to submit State Award Request (SAR). To set up your online account, visit Manage Your Voluntary Plan.
You do not need to send in State Disability Insurance (SDI) contributions for employees covered under a Voluntary Plan (VP). But, you must send SDI contributions for employees with SDI coverage. Any contributions that are required from VP employees must be secured in a trust fund. For any employees who opt-out, you (employer) must send their SDI contributions to the EDD Tax Branch. To learn how to file online, visit Voluntary Plan Tax Reporting.
Contact the Voluntary Plan Group
For assistance, you can contact the Voluntary Plan Group by phone, email, or mail:
- Email: VPProgram@edd.ca.gov
- Call 1-916-653-6839 or TTY users, dial the California Relay Service at 711
- Mail to:
Employment Development Department
Disability Insurance Branch
Voluntary Plan Group, MIC 29VP
PO Box 826880
Sacramento, CA 94280-0001
- Employer’s Guide to Voluntary Plan Procedures (DE 2040)
- Voluntary Plan FAQs
- Voluntary Plan Forms and Publications
- VP Security Deposit Requirements
- VP Claim Eligibility and Requirements
- Contribution Rates and Benefit Amounts
- CA Unemployment Insurance Code (CUIC) (Disability Compensation – Voluntary Plan)
- California Code of Regulations (CCR) (Title 22)
Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave Benefits
Find DI and PFL Information for You
Register for Benefit Programs Online
Creating an account is an important step in this process. With Benefit Programs Online, you can apply for Disability Insurance and manage your claim in SDI Online.
Can’t find what you are looking for? View these resources for more information.