Disability Insurance Benefit Amounts

Benefit Amounts for Disability Insurance

For claims beginning on or after January 1, 2015, weekly benefits range from $50 to a maximum of $1,104. To qualify for the maximum weekly benefit amount ($1,104) an individual must earn at least $26,070.92 in a calendar quarter during the base period.

EDD Debit CardSM

The EDD, with Bank of America, will provide eligible individuals with an EDD Debit CardSM that is valid for three years from the date of issue. Once the card is received, all authorized benefit payments will then be deposited to the EDD Debit CardSM account. The same EDD Debit CardSM will be used to deliver both State Disability and Unemployment Insurance payments. No action is required to receive the EDD Debit CardSM.

For more information, visit FAQs – EDD Debit CardSM.

Weekly Benefit Amount

An individual’s weekly benefit amount is approximately 55 percent of his or her earnings up to the maximum benefit amount. He or she may receive up to 52 weeks worth of Disability Insurance (DI) benefits. The daily benefit amount is calculated by dividing an individual’s weekly benefit amount by seven. The maximum benefit amount is calculated by multiplying an individual’s weekly benefit amount by 52 or adding the total wages subject to State Disability Insurance (SDI) tax paid in an individual’s base period, whichever is less. Exceptions are as follows:

  • For employers and self-employed individuals who elect SDI coverage, the maximum benefit amount is 39 times the weekly rate or the total wage credits in the base period, whichever is less. The minimum weekly benefit amount is $51 for Disability Insurance Elective Coverage participants.
  • For residents in a state-approved alcoholic recovery home or drug-free residential facility, the maximum payable period is 90 days. (However, disabilities related to or caused by acute or chronic alcoholism or drug abuse which are being medically treated do not have this limitation.)

Determining Weekly Benefit Amounts

An individual’s claim begins on the date his or her disability began. SDI calculates the weekly benefit amount using his or her base period. The date the disability, care, or bonding claim begins determines an individual’s base period.

An individual who wants his or her DI claim to begin later so that there is a different base period should call DI at 1-800-480-3287 before filing a claim.

An individual may not change the beginning date of his or her claim or adjust a base period after establishing a valid claim.

Base Period

A base period covers 12 months and is divided into four consecutive quarters. The base period includes wages subject to SDI tax which were paid approximately 5 to 18 months before an individual’s disability, care, or bonding claim began. The base period does not include wages paid at the time an individual’s disability or need to be off work to provide family care or to bond with a new child begins. For a DI or PFL claim to be valid, an individual must have at least $300 in wages in the base period. The following may be used to determine the base period for a claim.

If a claim begins on or after January 1, 2015:

  • January, February, or March, the base period is the 12 months ending last September 30. (Example: A claim beginning February 14, 2015, uses a base period of October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014.)
  • April, May, or June, the base period is the 12 months ending last December 31. (Example: A claim beginning June 20, 2015, uses a base period of January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.)
  • July, August, or September, the base period is the 12 months ending last March 31. (Example: A claim beginning September 27, 2015, uses a base period of April 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015.)
  • October, November, or December, the base period is the 12 months ending last June 30. (Example: A claim beginning November 2, 2015, uses a base period of July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.)

The weekly benefit amount is determined by using the quarter in which an individual was paid the highest wages. Refer to the DI and PFL Weekly Benefits Chart for further information.

Special Base Period

Under certain circumstances, the law permits substitution of wages paid in quarters prior to the normal base period of a claim in order to make a claim valid and/or increase the weekly benefit amount. Special base period cases include cases where an individual’s wages during the normal base period were adversely affected by: military service, industrial disability, trade dispute, or long-term unemployment.

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