FAQs – Disability Insurance (DI) Eligibility

Who is eligible for DI?
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. For more information, visit Disability Insurance Eligibility.

I quit my job (or was laid-off) and now I’m disabled. Am I eligible for DI?
It depends on your situation. To qualify for DI benefits, you must be actively connected to the labor market, either working or looking for work at the time your disability begins. The Employment Development Department (EDD) encourages you to file a claim for benefits, even if you are unsure of your labor market status.

I work two jobs. Will my DI benefits reflect both salaries?
Yes, if both employers deducted the State Disability Insurance (SDI) contribution from your paycheck. To ensure that we have correct information regarding both jobs, you need to tell the EDD about them on your application form. You do this by listing the name, address, telephone number, and last day you worked for each employer.

Do I have to be working for a certain number of days/months/years to be eligible for DI?
Eligibility for DI is based on the earnings shown in your base period. The wages you earn approximately 6 to 18 months before the disability claim begins are included in the base period (they must have been subject to the SDI tax/contribution). Your base period does not include wages paid at the time your disability begins.

Can I collect DI and Unemployment Insurance (UI) at the same time?
No. The laws governing the SDI program state that you are not eligible to receive DI during a period of time for which you are eligible to receive UI. For more information on California Unemployment Insurance Code, Section 2628, visit California Legislative Informaton.

I worked for the government for a couple of years. Can I collect DI?
Perhaps. Some government workers, including school employees, may be entitled to DI benefits as a function of collective bargaining. Also, if you have wages from a private employer during the base period, you might qualify even though your present employer is a local government entity. If in doubt, file a claim.

Will DI benefits cover me if I have elective or cosmetic surgery?
Elective and cosmetic surgeries are covered by DI. Your physician/practitioner must certify that you are disabled and cannot do your regular or customary job duties because of the surgery, and you must meet the basic eligibility requirements.

How many days must you be off work to receive DI benefits?
Since every claim for DI has a seven-day, non-payable waiting period, you must be disabled at least eight calendar days to collect benefits.

Can I receive DI benefits if my employer is going to pay me vacation/sick/holiday pay during my DI claim?
Vacation pay is not in conflict with DI benefits so you can receive DI benefits at the same time.

You cannot receive DI benefits for any period in which you also received sick leave wages that are equivalent to your full salary. If you are receiving only partial sick leave wages, you may be eligible for full or partial DI benefits.

All other pay (i.e., holiday pay) must be reported for the EDD to determine your eligibility for benefits. The first seven days of the DI claim is a non-payable waiting period, therefore, any type of wages paid by the employer during waiting period are not in conflict with DI benefits.

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