Become a Voluntary Plan Employer

A State-approved Voluntary Plan (VP) is a disability insurance plan that an employer can offer to its California employees as a legal alternative to mandatory State Disability Insurance (SDI).

Employer and employee groups may establish a VP disability insurance program with mutual consent of the employer and a majority of the employees. Employer must provide the EDD with approval documentation.

For more information on VP, review the Employer’s Guide to Voluntary Plan Procedures (DE 2040) (PDF).

The VP program is governed by the laws in the California Unemployment Insurance Code (CUIC). The CUIC requires that a VP meet the following requirements:

  • Need written approval from the majority of employees eligible for coverage.
  • Cannot cost employees more than SDI.
  • Provide all the same benefits as SDI plus at least one that is better.
  • Employees can reject the VP and choose SDI coverage.
  • Covered employees must be given a written document that outlines their benefits.
  • Must be offered to all eligible California employees of the employer.
  • Must be updated to match any increase in benefits that SDI implements as a result of legislation or approved regulation.

You are required to get approval from the EDD prior to offering a VP. To get started, submit a completed Application for Approval of Self-Insured Voluntary Plan of Disability Benefits (DE 2520BV) (PDF) to us. You must submit the application 30 days before your requested start date for the plan.

We will review your application and let you know if you are approved to offer a VP or if we need additional information.

If you meet all VP requirements, we will grant you a conditional approval pending your submission of a security deposit. Once you’ve received your security deposit, we will grant you a full approval to offer VP.

If you are approved, you are no longer required to send SDI withholdings to us for the employees covered by the VP. Instead, you will hold their contributions in a separate trust fund to pay Disability Insurance (DI) or Paid Family Leave (PFL) claims and approved expenses. You will need to pay an assessment to us based on the taxable wages of employees participating in the plan.

Contact the Voluntary Plan Group

  • Email:
  • Call: 1-916-653-6839. For TTY users, dial the California Relay Service at 711
  • Mail:
    Employment Development Department
    Disability Insurance Branch
    Voluntary Plan Group, MIC 29VP
    PO Box 826880
    Sacramento, CA 94280-0001

Find DI and PFL Information for You

Register for myEDD

Creating an account is an important step in this process. With myEDD, you can apply for Disability Insurance and manage your claim in SDI Online.

Additional Resources

Can’t find what you are looking for? View these DI and PFL resources for more information.