Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance (DI) provides short-term wage replacement benefits to eligible California workers.

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.

Am I Eligible for DI?

If you think you’re eligible for disability benefits, you’ll want to file a claim to apply.

Disability benefits are designed to replace a percentage of your income if the unexpected happens.

You may be eligible for DI if you are unable to work and are losing wages because of your own non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.

Receiving disability benefits provides you the means to buy food, pay bills, and cover household expenses while you’re unable to work.

How Do I File for Disability?

You can file the Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits (DE 2501) (PDF) claim by mail or even faster with SDI Online. We recommend that you register and create an account with us through Benefit Programs Online so that you can file and manage your disability claim with SDI Online.

To learn more, review the following:

Once your completed claim application is received, we will confirm eligibility. You can expect this process to take up to 14 days.

Note: Processing time may vary depending upon the claim. If your claim is incomplete or requires additional information, confirming eligibility can be delayed.

What Do I Need to Do?

Understand your role and responsibilities in managing your disability benefits correctly, including how to continue or stop your benefit payments.

Note: Make sure that information is reported accurately, and the correct benefits are paid. Committing fraud has serious outcomes. Learn more on Help Fight Fraud.

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.

Additional Resources

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