SDI: frequently asked questions

I’m pregnant and wonder if I can file a claim for State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits? If so, for how long?
Yes. The usual disability period for a NORMAL pregnancy is up to four weeks before the expected delivery date and up to 6 weeks after the actual delivery for vaginal deliveries and 8 weeks for Cesarean section. If there are medical complications that prevent you from performing your regular or customary job duties you may be eligible to extend your disability.

I just found out I’m pregnant. Can I send in my claim form before I stop working?
No. Your claim begins when you are suffering a loss of wages and your doctor confirms that you have a disability, which prevents you from doing your regular or customary job duties. The disability forms cannot be mailed to the State Disability Department until 9 days past the first day of disability.

I’m going to work up to the day my baby is born. Can I add an extra week to my recovery time?
No. Your post-partum benefits are limited to the period that you are actually disabled and incapable of doing your regular or customary work.

Do I have to be working for a certain number of days/months/years to be eligible for SDI?
Eligibility for SDI is based on the earnings shown in your base period. The wages you earn approximately 6 to 18 months before the disability claim begins are included in the base period (they must have been subject to the SDI tax/contribution). Your base period does not include wages paid at the time your disability begins.

What percentage is used to calculate my SDI benefit rate?
Your weekly benefit amount is approximately 55 percent of the earnings shown in the highest quarter of your base period. An example of your base period is shown below. SDI will not pay more than $917 per week.
I got my first check for SDI benefits, but I wasn’t paid the first seven days. Why not?
Every claim is assessed a seven-day, non-payable waiting period.

How do I know if I am eligible to receive SDI benefits?
You can look on your paystub for SDI taxes being paid.

How soon will I receive my first check from State Disability Insurance (SDI) after I mail my claim form?
Most of our customers are sent SDI checks within two weeks after a properly completed claim is received in the SDI field office. By filling in your application completely and verifying that all information is correct, you play a key role in ensuring prompt benefit check delivery.

I called SDI and was told a check was sent to me, but I have not received it. What do I do?
Please allow ten days from the date the check was issued for postal delivery or return of a check.

Can I receive accrued vacation from my employer and still receive SDI benefits?
Yes. Vacation benefits are not in conflict with SDI

Can I receive sick leave from my employer and still receive SDI benefits?

You cannot receive SDI benefits for any period for which you also receive sick leave wages that are equivalent to your full (or regular) salary. If you are receiving only partial sick leave wages, however, you may be eligible for full or partial SDI benefits.

Can I receive SDI benefits if my employer offers me unallocated leave or paid time off (PTO)?
No. PTO payments are considered the same as sick leave wages if the payments are made as a replacement for sick leave when you are disabled. However, if you are receiving partial PTO and still suffering a wage loss you may be entitled to full or partial SDI benefits.

Base Period Explanation
* January, February, or March, your base period is the 12 months ending last September 30. (Example: A claim beginning February 14, 2008, uses a base period of October 1, 2006, through September 30, 2007.)
April, May, or June, your base period is the 12 months ending last December 31.
(Example: A claim beginning June 20, 2008, uses a base period of January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2007.)
July, August, or September, your base period is the 12 months ending last March 31.
(Example: A claim beginning September 27, 2008, uses a base period of April 1, 2007, through March 31, 2008.)
* October, November, or December, your base period is the 12 months ending last June 30. (Example: A claim beginning November 2, 2008, uses a base period of July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008.)

For further information, you may contact SDI at (800)480-3287 or PFL at (877)238-4373.


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