FAQ - State Employees
State Disability Insurance (SDI) was negotiated for employees in Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21.
Please note that these questions and answers are intended to be general in nature, and may not address each individual situation. Specific situations will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the applicable Memorandum of Understanding.
SDI pays part of your wages if you have to stop working because of a non-work-related illness, injury, or due to pregnancy or to bond with a child (i.e., under age 18) within one year of its birth, adoption, or foster care placement. SDI also covers time off to care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner. For more information, visit About the SDI Program.
- Can I choose to participate in either SDI or Nonindustrial Disability Insurance (NDI)/Enhanced Nonindustrial Insurance (ENDI)?
No. The existing agreement provides for continuing the current NDI program (both the regular and enhanced benefit levels) until the SDI deductions start, and for six months following the initial SDI deduction. After that, the state will discontinue coverage under the NDI program if you are in a bargaining unit covered by SDI.
- Will the state continue to contribute to my health, dental, and vision benefits if I am unable to work and receive SDI benefits?
If you are unable to work due to a non-work-related disability or family leave and are receiving SDI benefits, the state will pay the full premiums for you and any applicable dependent coverage for health, dental, and vision benefits during that time. The state will recover your portion of the premiums paid through an accounts receivable.
The Employment Development Department (EDD) administers the SDI program and the State Controller’s Office calculates and withholds the deductions and the California Department of Human Resources is responsible for the contract administration.
The agreement between the state and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) allows for the use of 40 hours accrued leave credits per month while receiving SDI benefits. Also, you may use accrued vacation, annual leave, Combined Time Off, holiday credit, personal leave, or sick leave balances to cover the benefit waiting-period, per the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding.
Yes. PFL provides benefits to individuals who need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member, or to bond with a child entering the family through birth, adoption, or foster care placement. This means if you are eligible for SDI, you are also eligible for this PFL benefit.
- Where can an employee find additional information about SDI, such as eligibility, benefits amounts, claim filing, etc?
For more information visit State Disability Insurance and select Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave for additional links to available topics.
- Employers are required by law to provide health benefits for employees while they are on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Will the state bill me for the employee-paid premium when I return to work from their FMLA leave?
Yes. The employer will pay the employer’s portion of the health benefits premium for up to 26 weeks. The State Controller’s Office will set up accounts receivable for your portion of the health benefits premium to be paid when you return to work.
The employer will pay the employer’s portion of the health benefits premium for up to 26 weeks and 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 have not returned to work after the 26 weeks, in order to continue the health benefits, you will be required to directly pay the provider for both the employee and employer share of the health benefits premiums.
No. Managerial and supervisory employees participate in the Non-Industrial Disability Insurance program (both the regular and enhanced benefit levels).
PFL benefits are reportable for federal purposes but not state tax purposes. The EDD will provide all claimants with a 1099G form and forward a copy of the 1099G to the IRS. PFL benefits are not taxable or reportable to the California State Franchise Tax Board.
- Are SDI deductions pre-taxed (deducted from the paycheck prior to 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.
Yes. If you are working reduced hours or at modified duty due to a disability and you have a wage loss, you may be eligible for benefits.
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, CTO) which were earned but not paid for services performed prior to termination of employment, shall not be considered to be wages or compensation for personal services. Therefore, there should be no SDI deduction withheld from lump sum payments. This includes lump sum payments for vacation cash out or 401K plans.
- What happens if I am a represented employee who has been paying into SDI for quite some time and then I promote/move to a non-SEIU bargaining unit? What happens to my SDI deductions? Are the funds returned to me? Am I eligible for both NDI and SDI?
The SDI deductions stop. The funds are not returned to you. You could potentially be eligible for both NDI and SDI as long as you have wages in your base period.
No. SDI does not qualify for purchase as retirement service credit.
- Are employees in the affected bargaining units who live and work in other states, but are employed by the State of California, covered by SDI?
Yes. These employees can file claims and receive benefits, if otherwise eligible, despite residing out of state.