The following information are excerpts from the "California's Programs for the Unemployed", a pamphlet published and distributed by the Employment Development Department (EDD). You can download a full copy here.
State Disability Insurance
The State Disability Insurance (SDI) Program provides temporary beneﬁt payments to workers for non-work-related disabilities
Within SDI are two beneﬁt programs, Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL). DI beneﬁts are paid to eligible California workers experiencing a loss of wages when they are unable to perform their regular or customary work due to a non-work-related illness or injury, pregnancy or childbirth. PFL beneﬁts are paid to individuals unable to work because they need to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new minor child.
The ﬁrst seven days of your claim is a waiting period for which no beneﬁts are payable. Beneﬁts begin with the eighth day of disability or leave. You cannot receive DI, PFL, and Unemployment Insurance (UI) beneﬁts for the same period, or any combination thereof.
Most workers covered by California Unemployment Insurance are also covered by State Disability Insurance (SDI). The program is ﬁnanced entirely by covered workers through a payroll tax withheld from their earnings. The contribution is based on a percentage of a worker’s earnings. The contribution rate may vary from year to year depending on the balance in the Disability Fund. Speciﬁc information about the contribution rate is available from any EDD ofﬁce. DI is payable for a maximum of 52 weeks.
Employees of local public entities (except workers in district hospitals) are not covered by SDI unless the employer elects such coverage. Employees of the State or of State-funded institutions of higher education may, through their collective bargaining units, elect to be covered by SDI. Self-employed individuals may elect to be covered by SDI.
Paid Family Leave
Paid Family Leave (PFL) beneﬁts may be available to you if you are unable to work because you need to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child. PFL beneﬁts are payable for a maximum of six weeks in a 12-month period. Deductions for Paid Family Leave coverage began January 1, 2004.
PFL is a component of the SDI program. Workers covered by SDI will also be covered for PFL. Workers who are covered by a Voluntary Plan for SDI will be covered for PFL through their Voluntary Plan.
File a DI or PFL Claim
Obtain a Claim Form You can obtain a claim form from any public EDD ofﬁce. You may call the DI or PFL toll-free numbers listed on the right and request a form be mailed to you. Medical providers, hospitals, or employers may have a claim form, or you may obtain a form through EDD’s Web site at www.edd.ca.gov.
Fill Out Your Claim The Claim for DI and PFL Beneﬁts provides you with instructions for completing the claim form. PFL applicants should pay special attention to instructions for the type of claim (i.e. caring for a seriously ill family member or bonding with a new child). It is very important to include your social security number and sign and date the claim form. Please print your information clearly and review it for completeness and accuracy. If you need help in completing the form, call the DI OR PFL toll-free numbers listed on the right for assistance.
Doctor's Certificate for DI Applicants If you are submitting a claim for DI, give the claim form to your medical provider to complete the "Doctor’s Certiﬁcate."
Mail your Form Mail your claim form within 49 days from the ﬁrst day you become disabled or the first day of your period of family leave. If you submit your claim later than 49 days, you may lose beneﬁts for the number of days that the claim islate unless you can establish "good cause" for late ﬁling. To establish good cause, attach a detailed explanation to your claim form telling why it is late.