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How is the California State Disability Insurance benefit calculated?

The California State Disability Insurance benefit is estimated at between 60 and 70 of wages earned prior to a non-work-related medical condition.

California State Disability Insurance benefit calculator
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California is one of five states that has a state mandated temporary disability insurance which replaces a portion of wages lost due to a “disability” that was incurred outside of the workplace. The “disability” can include an illness or injury, whether it be physical or mental, along with pregnancy and childbirth or even elective surgery, among other medical conditions.

State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a short-term program that pays benefits for up to a year, unlike Social Security disability which is for conditions that last at least a year or could result in death. The exact amount that recipients could get depends on their earnings and how much they’ve paid into the program.

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How much California State Disability Insurance pay?

Your Weekly Benefit Amount for SDI is estimated as 60 to 70 percent of the wages you earned 5 to 18 months prior to the claim. The most you can receive in 2022 is $1,540 per week for a total of $80,080 should you qualify for the maximum of 52 weeks. The weekly benefit calculation and maximum amount is the same for California Paid Family Leave (PFL) but this benefit can only collected for eight weeks.

To see more on calculating your weekly benefit you can check out the online Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave Calculator. These are estimates, so you will need to contact the California Employment Development Department (EDD). The fastest way to file a claim is to do so using the EDD SDI Online page.

You can also file your SDI or PFL claim by mail. You will have to request that a copy of the application be mailed to you via the EDD website or by contacting the EDD disability or PFL number, and once you complete the application, you should mail it to the EDD office closest to your residence. SDI and PFL claim forms are available in Spanish and English with guides to fill out the forms in other languages.

SDI and PFL form numbers

DE 2501Claim for Disability Insurance Benefits
DE 2501FClaim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits
DE 2502Claim for Disability Insurance Benefits - Religious Practitioner’s Certificate
DE 2502FPractitioners Certification for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits

Who is eligible for California State Disability Insurance?

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) stipulates that you must meet certain requirements to be eligible for SDI benefits. You must have earned a minimum of $300 which had SDI deductions withheld from during your base period, a calendar year. Citizenship and immigration status do not affect eligibility.

The medical condition must have been preventing you from performing your regular or customary duties at work for at least eight days or is causing you to lose wages. If you aren’t employed when you become disabled, you may still be eligible for benefits on the condition that you were actively looking for work at the time.

Filing a claim for SDI and PFL

Within eight days of the onset of the “disability”, you must be under the care and treatment of a physician or practitioner that is licensed or an accredited religious practitioner. In order to continue receiving benefits, you must still be under care and treatment.

You cannot claim benefits until nine days have passed from the beginning of your disability and no more than 49 days after the onset of the medical condition or risk losing benefits. There are situations where a claim filed after this time limit may be accepted, consult with the EDD.

You must have the medical certification portion completed by your physician, practitioner or religious practitioner. If it is within their scope of practice, a nurse practitioner may certify your disability. For normal pregnancy or childbirth, the medical certification can be completed by a licensed midwife, nurse-midwife, or nurse practitioner.