Apply for Disability Insurance

If you think you’re eligible for disability benefits, file a claim to apply.

File a Claim

You may be eligible for Disability Insurance (DI) if you are unable to work and are losing wages because of your own non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.

How Do I File for Disability?

You can file the Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits (DE 2501) (PDF) claim by mail or even faster with SDI Online. Register and create an account with us through Benefit Programs Online so that you can file and manage your disability claim with SDI Online.

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

  • Electronic Payment: If you chose this option, your benefit payments will be deposited to a debit card issued to you.
  • Payment by Mail: If you chose 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 step-by-step overview for the DI Claim Process. Review the DI Benefits and Payments FAQs for detailed answers to commonly asked questions, including How Do I Apply for Disability Insurance?

What to Expect After You Have Filed for Disability

Once we receive your completed claim application, we will determine your eligibility. You can expect this process to take up to 14 days.

Note: Processing time may vary depending upon the claim. If your claim is incomplete or requires additional information, confirming eligibility can be delayed.

During this time, we will send you a 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 your eligibility to receive DI benefits.

Eligibility Status Determined

Once your claim has been processed you will receive a notice outlining that you are either:

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

Before you receive benefits, you will have an unpaid seven-day waiting period. The first payable day is the eighth day of the claim.

Review the DI Benefits and Payments FAQs for more information.

If you are not eligible, we 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 date your form was issued.

Manage Benefits

Once you begin receiving benefits, you’ll need to manage your benefits correctly. This includes knowing when and how to continue your benefits or stop your benefit payments, if you have recovered or returned to work.

Learn how to manage your benefits and your online account with Benefit Programs Online and SDI Online to make sure that information is reported accurately and you are paid the correct benefits.

Last Revised: 12/21/2020

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 your claim in SDI Online.