Disability Insurance Eligibility

Eligibility

Workers who suffer a loss of wages when they are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or injury, pregnancy or childbirth, may be eligible for DI benefits.

Requirements

  • You must be unable to do your regular or customary work for at least eight consecutive days.
  • You must be employed or actively looking for work at the time you become disabled.
  • You must have lost wages because of your disability or, if unemployed, have been actively looking for work.
  • You must have earned at least $300 from which State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions were withheld during a previous period.
  • You must be under the care and treatment of a licensed physician/practitioner or accredited religious practitioner during the first eight days of your disability. (The beginning date of a claim can be adjusted to meet this requirement.) You must remain under care and treatment to continue receiving benefits.
  • You must complete and submit a claim form within 49 days of the date you became disabled or you may lose benefits.
  • Your physician/practitioner must complete the medical certification of your disability. A nurse practitioner may certify to a disability within his/her scope however, he/she must perform a physical examination and collaborate with a physician or surgeon. A licensed midwife, nurse-midwife, or nurse practitioner may complete the medical certification for disabilities related to normal pregnancy or childbirth. (If you are under the care of a religious practitioner, request a “Practitioner’s Certificate,” DE 2502, from the SDI office. Certification by a religious practitioner is acceptable only if the practitioner has been accredited by Employment Development Department.)

Beginning July 1, 2014, California workers may be eligible to receive Paid Family Leave benefits when taking time off of work to care for a seriously ill parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling. For more information, view Senate Bill 770 (Chapter 350, Statutes of 2013).

An independent medical examination to determine your initial or continuing eligibility may be required.

Ineligibility

If you are found to be ineligible for all or part of a period claimed, you will be notified of the ineligible period and the reason.

Ineligibility for SDI Benefits

  • You are not suffering a loss of wages
  • You are claiming or receiving Unemployment Insurance or Paid Family Leave benefits.
  • You became disabled while committing a crime resulting in a felony conviction.
  • You are in jail, prison, recovery home, or any other place because you were convicted of a crime
  • You are receiving Workers' Compensation benefits at a weekly rate equal to or greater than the DI rate.
  • You fail to have an independent medical examination when requested to do so.

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