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California State Disability Insurance (SDI)

California State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a partial wage-replacement insurance plan for California workers. It is state-mandated and funded through employee payroll deductions. SDI provides short-term benefits to eligible workers who suffer a loss of wages when they are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.

Here are the key components of California SDI:

Disability Insurance (DI): Provides short-term benefits to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to disabilities that are not work-related.

Paid Family Leave (PFL): Offers benefits to individuals who need to take time off from work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child entering the family through birth, adoption, or foster care placement.

To be eligible for SDI, a worker must have been employed or actively looking for work at the time the disability began and have lost wages because of their disability. They must also have earned at least a minimum amount in wages during a 12-month base period and be under the care and treatment of a licensed practitioner during the first eight days of their disability.

Benefit Amount:
The benefit amount is approximately 60-70% of wages (depending on income) and is calculated based on a base period of 12 months. Benefits can be paid for a maximum of 52 weeks for DI and up to 8 weeks for PFL, depending on the situation.

SDI is funded through payroll taxes on employees (not employers). California workers contribute to the program through SDI taxes that are withheld from their paychecks.

How to Apply:
Employees must file a claim with the California Employment Development Department (EDD) to receive SDI benefits. This can typically be done online, by mail, or by fax.

Integration with Other Benefits:
SDI may be integrated with other benefits such as paid sick leave, workers’ compensation, or employer-provided disability benefits. However, there are certain rules about not exceeding one’s regular wages through the combination of SDI and other benefits.

Taking SDI does not necessarily protect one’s job; however, other laws such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) may provide job protection for eligible workers.

The specifics of California SDI, including eligibility criteria, benefit amounts, and duration of benefits, can change, so it’s important for individuals to check with the California Employment Development Department (EDD) for the most current information.

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