State Disability Insurance is an income replacement program administered through the Employment Development Department. The majority of workers pay a small portion of their monthly salary into a State Disability Insurance Fund. If you become disabled through a non-work related accident or illness, and are eligible, you will receive insurance payments to cover the costs of living while you are unable to earn money. Disability is any illness or injury, either physical or mental that prevents you from doing your regular or customary work. Time off during pregnancy or as Paid Family Leave is also covered by SDI and payments can last for a period of up to 52 weeks.


If your doctor certifies you may be eligible for partial or full disability benefits. The usual disability period for a normal pregnancy is up to four weeks before the expected delivery date and up to six weeks after the actual delivery. However, your doctor may certify you to a longer period if the delivery is by Cesarean section and if there are medical complications, or if you are unable to perform your regular job duties.

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

The Paid Family Leave program provides employees with partial wage replacement when taking time off work to care for parents, children, spouses and registered domestic partners or to bond with a new minor child. All employees who participate in the SDI program are also eligible for PFL.

You May Not be Eligible for State Disability Benefits

  • If you are receiving Unemployment Insurance or Paid Family Leave benefits.
  • If you are not working or looking for work at the time you become disabled.
  • If you are in custody due to conviction of a crime.
  • If your full wages are paid.
  • If you are receiving workers’ compensation at a weekly rate equal to or greater than the SDI rate. If these benefits for workers’ compensation are paid at a lower rate than your SDI rate, you may be eligible to be paid the difference.
  • For the amount of time a claim is late (without good cause).
  • If you make a false statement or fail to report a material fact.
  • If you fail to attend an independent medical examination when requested.

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