Am I Eligible for Disability Insurance Benefits?
Workers who have a loss of wages when they are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy, may be eligible for disability insurance (DI) benefits.
In order to be eligible for DI benefits, you must:
- Be unable to do your regular or customary work for at least eight consecutive days.
- Be employed or actively looking for work at the time your disability begins.
- Have lost wages because of your disability or, if unemployed, have been actively looking for work.
- Have earned at least $300 from which SDI deductions were withheld during a previous period. For additional information, Calculating Benefit Payment Amounts.
- Be under the care and treatment of a licensed physician/practitioner or accredited religious practitioner during the first eight days of your disability. The date a claim begins can be adjusted if it does not meet this requirement. You must remain under care and treatment to continue receiving benefits.
- Complete and submit your claim form (DE 2501) no later than 49 days after your disability begins or you may lose benefits. The first day you may submit a claim form is nine days after the first day your disability begins.
- Have your physician/practitioner complete the medical certification of your disability.
- A nurse practitioner may certify to a disability within his/her scope of practice; 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 an SDI office. Certification by a religious practitioner is acceptable only if the practitioner has been accredited by the Employment Development Department.
Please note that your employer will be notified that you have submitted a DI claim. However, your detailed information is confidential and will not be shared with your employer.
An independent medical examination to determine your initial or continuing eligibility may be required.
Note: If you or a family member takes time off work to care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner, you/they may be eligible for Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits.