Roles of Physicians/Practitioners in State Disability Insurance

Certify and Manage Patient Claims

If your patient and/or their caregiver are eligible for State Disability Insurance (SDI), they may be covered by one of two benefits: Disability Insurance (DI) or Paid Family Leave (PFL).

The quality, accuracy, and timeliness of your medical certifications are important to the processing of their claim.

The EDD reviews claims to ensure that all eligibility requirements are met; this includes verification of your physician/practitioner license which must be active and in good standing.

The following physicians/practitioners can certify claims:

  • Licensed medical or osteopathic physician/practitioners
  • Authorized medical officer of a U.S. Government facility
  • Chiropractor
  • Podiatrist
  • Optometrist
  • Dentist
  • Psychologist
  • Nurse practitioner or physician assistant
  • Licensed midwife, nurse-midwife, or nurse practitioner for normal pregnancy or childbirth
  • Accredited religious practitioner

Note: A nurse practitioner or physician assistant can certify for conditions within their scope of practice. However, to certify a claim for a disability other than normal pregnancy and childbirth, they must perform a physical examination and collaborate with a physician or surgeon.

If your patient or their caregiver asks you for a medical certification for their SDI claim, you can fill out and submit the form using SDI Online. For more information, visit the Certify and Manage Claims - Basics for Physicians/Practitioners page.

Independent Medical Examiner

The State Disability Insurance (SDI) program is expanding its panel of Independent Medical Examiners, physicians/practitioners responsible for the examinations that verify a disability status. Examinations by the SDI program follow the guidelines listed in Section 2627(c)-1(b) of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.

For example, SDI may request an examination if a physician/practitioner lists the claimant’s disability as lasting longer than what is considered normal for the diagnosis but doesn’t provide a medically justified reason.

Independent medical examinations assist SDI in preserving the Disability Fund for the benefit of workers who are insured through SDI.

How to Become an Independent Medical Examiner 

If you are a physician/practitioner and would like to become an Independent Medical Examiner, contact us by emailing or at the mailing address below. Please provide us with a contact phone number, email, and mailing address. We will contact you and provide you with the appropriate forms to complete.

Mailing Address
Employment Development Department
Disability Insurance Branch
PO Box 826880, MIC 29
Sacramento, CA 94280-0001

Last Revised: 3/8/2021

Register for Benefit Programs Online

Creating an account is an important step in this process. With Benefit Programs Online, you can certify for Disability Insurance, Paid Family Leave, and manage claims in SDI Online.

Additional Resources

Can’t find what you’re looking for? View these resources for more information.