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.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for DI benefits, you must:

  • Be unable to do your regular or customary work for at least eight days.
  • Be employed or actively looking for work at the time your disability begins.
  • Have lost wages because of your disability.
  • Have earned at least $300 from which State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions were withheld during your base period. For additional information visit, Calculating Benefit Payment Amounts.
  • Be under the care and treatment of a licensed physician/practitioner or accredited religious practitioner within the first eight days of your disability. The date your 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 earlier than nine days after your first day of disability begins but no later than 49 days after your disability begins or you may lose benefits.
  • Have your physician/practitioner complete the medical certification portion of your disability claim.
    • 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 Claim for Disability Insurance Benefits-Religious 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.

Your employer will be notified that you have submitted a DI claim. However, your medical 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.

To file a claim, visit Benefit Programs Online, SDI Online, or Options to File for DI Benefits.