About Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance (DI) is a part of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. It provides partial wage replacement benefits to eligible California workers who are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. SDI contributions are paid by California workers through employee payroll deductions.

DI does not provide job protection, only monetary benefits; however, your job may be protected through other federal or state laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

Disability Insurance

Disability is an illness or injury, either physical or mental, which prevents you from performing your regular and customary work. Disability also includes elective surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical conditions.

Although work-related disabilities are covered by workers’ compensation laws, DI benefits may also be paid for work-related illness or injuries under certain circumstances. You can learn more about the difference between workers’ compensation and DI.

Disability Insurance Benefit Payments

If you are eligible, you can receive about 60 to 70 percent (depending on income) of wages earned 5 to 18 months before your claim start date. You can be paid benefits for a maximum of 52 weeks. For more information, review Calculating Disability Benefit Payment Amounts.

To receive benefits, you must:

  • File a claim for DI benefits using SDI Online or by mail.
  • Complete a seven-day, unpaid waiting period.
  • Have earned at least $300 in wages that are subject to SDI deductions (“CASDI” on your paystubs) during the 12-month base period of your claim.
  • Have your physician/practitioner certify to your disability by completing the Physician/Practitioner Certification.

If you are eligible to receive benefits, we will issue payments in one of two ways:

  • Electronic Payment: If you choose this option, your benefit payments will be deposited to a debit card issued to you.
  • Payment by Mail: If you choose this option, your benefit payments will be issued by EDD check. Allow 7 to 10 days for delivery by mail.

To learn more, review the following:

Last Revised: 12/08/2020

Register for Benefit Programs Online

Creating an account is an important step in this process. With Benefit Programs Online, you can apply for Disability Insurance (DI) and manage you claim in SDI Online.

Additional Resources

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