State Disability Insurance for State Employees FAQs
State Disability Insurance (SDI) includes both Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits.
The EDD administers SDI, the State Controller’s Office calculates and withholds the deductions, and the California Department of Human Resources is responsible for the contract administration.
You can use 40 hours of accrued leave credits per month while receiving SDI, which includes both DI and PFL benefits. Also, you can use accrued vacation, annual leave, Compensatory Time Off, holiday credit, personal leave, or sick leave balances to cover the DI non-payable waiting period.
Yes. PFL provides benefits for those who need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member, bond with a new child, or participate in a qualifying event because of a family member’s military deployment to a foreign country.
For more information, visit Am I Eligible for Paid Family Leave Benefits?
If I am employed by the State of California but live and work in another state, am I covered by SDI?
Yes. If you are in a covered bargaining unit and are otherwise eligible for SDI, you can file claims and receive benefits.
Where can I find additional information about SDI, such as eligibility, benefit amounts, and claim filing?
For more information, visit State Disability Insurance and select Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave.
If I am unable to work and receive DI or PFL benefits concurrently with the Family and Medical Leave Act or California Family Rights Act, what happens to my health benefits?
If you are unable to work due to a non-work-related disability or family leave and are receiving SDI benefits, your employer will pay their portion of the health benefits premium for up to 26 weeks. The State Controller’s Office will set up an accounts receivable for your portion of the health benefits premium to be paid when you return to work.
If you coordinate benefits, you have the option to have your portion of your health benefits premium paid instead of paying the premiums back later with an accounts receivable.
If you are out under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which runs concurrently with SDI and you have not returned to work after 26 weeks, in order to continue your health benefits, you will be required to pay the provider for both the employee and employer share of the premium.
No. Managers and supervisors may be eligible to participate in the Nonindustrial Disability Insurance program (both the regular and enhanced benefit levels).
Your DI benefits are not reportable for tax purposes with one exception. If you are receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, become unable to work due to a disability, and begin receiving DI benefits, your DI benefits are substituted for your UI benefits and will be reportable for tax purposes.
If DI benefits are reportable, a notice with the first benefit payment will be sent to you explaining that the benefits are being reported to the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In January, we will provide you with a 1099G form showing the reportable amounts paid (no more than the original UI maximum) and forward a copy of the 1099G to the IRS.
PFL benefits are reportable for federal purposes but not for California state tax purposes. We will provide you with a 1099G form and forward a copy of the 1099G to the IRS.
Are SDI deductions pre-taxed (deducted from my paycheck before paying federal, state, and social security taxes)?
No. SDI deductions are not pre-taxed.
If my spouse has health benefit coverage and I am receiving the cash option under FlexElect, will I be allowed to reenroll in the cash option after returning from leave?
Yes. Your FlexElect Cash Option will resume automatically once you return from leave.
Note: FlexElect is currently suspended under PLP 2020.
If you are receiving SDI benefits, you will not accrue annual leave credits unless you work partial hours.
No. Lump sum payments for pay (e.g., vacation, annual leave, Compensatory Time Off) that were earned but not paid for services performed prior to termination of employment will not be considered wages or compensation for personal services. So there should be no SDI deductions withheld from lump sum payments. This includes lump sum payments for vacation cash out or 401(k) plans.
Can I choose to participate in either SDI or Nonindustrial Disability Insurance/Enhanced Nonindustrial Insurance?
No. You cannot choose your disability program. It is determined by your employment position and bargaining unit.
SDI covers employees in bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21.
Nonindustrial Disability Insurance covers excluded employees and rank-and-file employees in bargaining units 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, and 19.
If I move to a bargaining unit not covered by SDI, what happens to my SDI deductions? Am I eligible for both Nonindustrial Disability Insurance and SDI?
The SDI deductions stop. The funds are not returned to you. You could potentially be eligible for both Nonindustrial Disability Insurance and SDI if you have wages in your base period.
Can I buy back service credits for retirement during the time I received Nonindustrial Disability Insurance or SDI?
Contact CalPERS to discuss your service credit purchase options. Call toll-free at 1-888-CalPERS (or 1-888-225-7377) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For TTY, use 1-877-249-7442.
Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave Benefits
Find DI 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.