FAQs – Voluntary Plans


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California law allows your employer to offer you a Voluntary Plan (VP) for Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave benefits in place of State Disability Insurance (SDI) coverage. Your VP must provide all the benefits of SDI and at least one benefit that is better than SDI. It cannot cost you more than SDI.

Contact your employer’s personnel or benefits office for more information or to file a Voluntary Plan claim.

Your claim for State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits was referred to a Voluntary Plan (VP) because there is a question of who your SDI provider is. The VP carrier has 25 days to respond to our referral. We will contact you after we receive their response, but we cannot pay you benefits during the 25-day period.

No. You are covered under the Voluntary Plan and are not eligible for State Disability Insurance.

If you’re not covered by your employer’s Voluntary Plan, your employer will refer your claim for benefits to State Disability Insurance. Check with your employer to make sure your claim was referred.

If your Voluntary Plan (VP) denies benefits and you disagree, you have the right to appeal the decision and have a hearing before an impartial Administrative Law Judge. To file an appeal, send the EDD a detailed letter stating why you think the VP denial is incorrect. Print and sign your name on the appeal letter, and include your Social Security number, address, and telephone number. State Disability Insurance (SDI) will file the necessary appeal documents with the California Unemployment Insurance Office of Appeals but will not pay benefits during the appeal period or attend the hearing. It is important that you attend your appeal hearing.

To file a disputed coverage appeal, complete an Appeal for Determination of Coverage (DE 1000DC). You can get the DE 1000DC from any SDI office. For a current list of SDI offices, visit Office Locator or call the EDD. Include a brief factual statement of why the EDD should accept coverage, attach a copy of the SDI denial letter, and send the appeal to the appropriate Office of Appeals and a copy to the EDD office. For information on the appropriate Office of Appeals for your area, call 1-916-657-5113.

Contact your employer or their agent to find out the reason for the delay. If you feel the reason is unsatisfactory, you can file an appeal for presumed denial of benefits. Call 1-916-657-5113 for help with your appeal.

State Disability Insurance provides this information to you and your employer to help in determining your wages and benefit amount. The benefit amount listed on the Notice of Computation (DE 429D) shows the minimum amount your employer’s plan must pay you.

Note: It may be necessary to send some documents via U.S. mail even if you select electronic communication.

Yes. If you are working for two different employers at the time of your disability, with one employer providing State Disability Insurance coverage and the other by a Voluntary Plan, you can receive simultaneous coverage. Both companies are equally responsible for paying a portion of your disability benefit. However, you will not receive twice the normal benefit amount.

Yes. Contact your employer’s Voluntary Plan representative or benefits department for information on transferring coverage.


For additional information about the Voluntary Plan program:

Employment Development Department
Disability Insurance Branch, MIC 29 VP
P.O. Box 826880
Sacramento, CA 94280-0001

Yes. The Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance Program includes both Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave (PFL). Employees are eligible for paid leave to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child entering the family. To view the PFL state law, visit California Unemployment Insurance Code 3300.

Physician/practitioner license verification is based on receipt of one of the following types of supporting information or documentation:

  • Official document from the state or foreign licensing or regulatory agency, certifying that the physician/practitioner is duly licensed or certified in the state or foreign country.
  • A copy of the physician/practitioner’s license or registration bearing the office seal or stamp of the state or foreign licensing or regulatory agency.
  • Confirmation of the physician/practitioner’s license status by viewing the state or foreign country licensing agency’s internet website, established for license verification purposes.
  • Confirmation of the physician/practitioner’s license status by speaking directly with the state or foreign country regulatory or licensing agency staff, responsible for providing official license verification services.

Use the following resources to verify foreign licensed physicians/practitioners:

San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance

No. The EDD auditors will only audit procedures in accordance with the California Unemployment Insurance Code, Title 22 Regulations, and the Voluntary Plan Employers Plan. The EDD has no oversight requirements regarding the Paid Parental Leave Ordinance .

Contact the City and County of San Francisco, Office of Labor Standards Enforcement by email at pplo@sfgov.org or 415-554-6731 with questions regarding the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance.