Disability Insurance Claim Process

The State Disability Insurance (SDI) program provides short-term Disability Insurance (DI) wage replacement benefits to eligible workers. You may be eligible if you are unable to work and are losing wages because of your own pregnancy, childbirth, or non-work-related illness or injury.

1. Review Your Eligibility

You must be eligible to receive DI benefits. Some requirements include:

  • Being unable to do your regular work for at least eight consecutive days.
  • Having lost wages because of your disability.
  • Being employed or actively looking for work at the time your disability began.

For a complete list of eligibility requirements, visit Am I Eligible for Disability Insurance Benefits?

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2. File Your Claim

You have two options to file for DI benefits. You can file your claim using SDI Online (recommended) or by submitting Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits (DE 2501) by mail.

To learn how to file your claim, visit:

Note: The EDD will not process your claim until your application is properly completed.

Your Claim Start Date

The day you became unable to work due to your disability is the day your disability begins. You may not change the beginning date of your claim or adjust your base period after establishing a valid claim. If you have any questions about your claim start date, contact DI at 1-800-480-3287 before filing your claim.

Submit your claim no earlier than nine days after the first day your disability begins, but no later than 49 days after your disability begins, or your claim is considered to be a late claim and you may lose benefits.

3. Physician/Practitioner Completes a Medical Certification

Your physician/practitioner must certify to your disability by completing and submitting the medical certification portion using either SDI Online or the DE 2501 Part B – Physician/Practitioner’s Certificate of the paper claim form. It is your responsibility to have your physician/practitioner complete and sign the form and submit it to the EDD within 49 days from the date your disability begins or you may lose benefits.

Note: Your claim is not complete until your physician/practitioner completes a medical certification.

4. The EDD Determines Eligibility

Once a properly completed claim application is received, the EDD usually determines eligibility within 14 days.

The EDD will send you the Notice of Computation (DE 429D) to inform you of your potential weekly benefit amount based on the wages you earned in your base period. Receiving this notice does NOT confirm that you have been found eligible to receive DI benefits.

If you are eligible for benefits, you will be sent an Electronic Benefit Payment Notification (DE 2500E).

Before you receive benefits, you must serve an unpaid seven-day waiting period (calendar days). The first payable day is the eighth day of the claim.

You can choose how you receive your benefits when you file, either by prepaid debit card or EDD check.

EDD Debit CardSM: If you chose this option, all authorized benefit payments will be deposited to a debit card. For more information, visit EDD Debit Card.

EDD checks by mail: If you chose this option, your benefit payments will be issued by EDD check. Allow 7 to 10 days for delivery of checks in the mail.

If you do not meet eligibility requirements, the EDD will send you a Notice of Determination (DE 2517) and an Appeal Form (DE 1000A). You have the right to appeal any decision by completing the DE 1000A electronically or by mail within 30 days of the issue date of the disqualification notice. For more information, visit Appeals.

5. Continue or Stop Your Benefits

If You’re Receiving Automatic Payments

If your claim is on automatic payment, the EDD will send you a Disability Claim Continuing Eligibility Certification (DE 2593) after 10 weeks of payment. You must return this form to the EDD to certify that your disability continues. If you do not return the DE 2593, your benefits will stop.

If You’re Not Receiving Automatic Payments

If you are not on automatic payment, the EDD will send you a Claim for Continued Disability Benefits (DE 2500A) every two weeks to certify that your disability continues. If you do not return the DE 2500A, your benefits will stop.

If you have an SDI Online account, the quickest way to submit the DE 2593 or DE 2500A is through SDI Online.

Extend Your DI Benefit Period if You Have Not Recovered

You are eligible to receive benefits through the return to work or recovery date your physician/practitioner provides to the EDD. With your final payment, the EDD will mail you a Physician/Practitioner’s Supplementary Certificate (DE 2525XX).

If you have not fully recovered and want to extend your disability period to continue benefits, you must have your physician/practitioner complete the DE 2525XX and return the form to the EDD to certify to your continuing disability. Your physician/practitioner may complete and submit the DE 2525XX using SDI Online or by mail.

If you recover or return to work on the date your physician/practitioner provided to the EDD, no further action is required to stop your claim.

If you have been approved to go back to work before the physician/practitioner’s estimated date of recovery, complete one of the following:

  • The Disability Status section of the Claim for Continued Disability Benefits (DE2500A).
  • The Recovery or Return to Work Certification portion of the Notice of Automatic Payment (DE2587).
  • Question 1 of the Disability Claim Continuing Eligibility Certification (DE2593).
  • Use the Claim Update function on SDI Online.

If you previously recovered or returned to work and became ill or injured again, immediately file a new claim form (DE 2501) and report the dates you worked.

For more information on how to stop or continue your benefits, visit Disability Insurance – Stop or Continue Your Benefits.

Related DI Claim Information