State Disability Insurance for State Employees FAQs
State employees are divided into 21 bargaining units. State Disability Insurance (SDI) covers employees in bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21.
Nonindustrial Disability Insurance (NDI) covers excluded employees and rank-and-file employees in bargaining units 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, and 19. For more information, visit Nonindustrial Disability Insurance.
SDI pays part of your wages if you have to stop working due to the following:
- A non-work-related illness or injury.
- A pregnancy or to bond with a new child through birth, adoption, or foster care placement.
- 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.
No. You cannot choose your disability program. It is determined by your employment position and bargaining unit.
- 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 and any applicable dependent coverage for your health, dental, and vision benefits. The state will recover your portion of the premiums paid through an accounts receivable.
The EDD administers SDI, the State Controller’s Office calculates and withholds the deductions, and the California Department of Human Resources is responsible for the contract administration.
You can use 40 hours of accrued leave credits per month while receiving SDI benefits. Also, you can 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. Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides benefits for those who need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a child through birth, adoption, or foster care placement. If you are eligible for SDI, you are also eligible for PFL.
- Where can I find additional information about SDI, such as eligibility, benefits amounts, and claim filing?
For more information, visit State Disability Insurance and select Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave.
- Employers are required to provide health benefits for employees on Family and Medical Leave Act leave. Will the state bill me for the employee-paid premium when I return to work?
Yes. The employer will pay their portion of the health benefits premium for up to 26 weeks. 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 are out on a Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave that runs concurrently with SDI and you have not returned to work after 26 weeks, you will be required to pay the provider for both the employee and employer share of the premium to continue health benefits.
No. Managers and supervisors participate in the NDI program (both the regular and enhanced benefit levels).
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).
Your Disability Insurance (DI) benefits are not reportable for tax purposes with one exception. If you are receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, become unable to work due to a disability, and begin receiving DI benefits, your DI benefits are substituted for your UI benefits and will be reportable for tax purposes.
If DI benefits are reportable, a notice with the first benefit payment will be sent to you explaining that the benefits are being reported to the IRS. In January, we will provide you with a 1099G form showing the reportable amounts paid (no more than the original UI maximum) and forward a copy of the 1099G to the IRS.
Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits are reportable for federal purposes but not state tax purposes. We will provide you 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 before 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 modified duty due to a disability or family leave 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, Combined Time Off ) that were earned but not paid for services performed prior to termination of employment will not be considered wages or compensation for personal services. So there should be no SDI deduction withheld from lump sum payments. This includes lump sum payments for vacation cash out or 401(k) plans
- If I move to a bargaining unit not covered by SDI, what happens to my SDI deductions? 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 if you have wages in your base period.
Contact CalPERS to discuss your service credit purchase options. Call toll-free at 1-888-CalPERS (or 1-888-225-7377) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. TTY: 1-877-249-7442.
- If I am employed by the State of California but live and work in another state, am I covered by SDI?
Yes. If you are in a covered bargaining unit and are otherwise eligible for SDI, you can file claims and receive benefits.