What is California’s Short-Term Disability Insurance (SDI)?
The short-term disability (SDI) insurance program provides short-term benefit payments to employees who are off work due to a non-work-related injury or illness. State of California has announced numerous changes in SDI rules in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Eligibility for California Short-Term Disability Insurance
To receive short-term disability benefits in California, a person is required to meet the following requirements:
- He is employed or is actively looking for work at the time he became disabled.
- He has lost wages because of the disability.
- He has earned at least $300, from which state disability insurance deductions were suspended.
- He is under the treatment and care of a licensed doctor or public health officer
- He has filed a claim form within forty-nine days of the date he became disabled.
- His doctor or public health officer completed the part of the form which provides medical certification of a person’s disability.
California’s New Short-Term Disability Rules
According to California law, a person is eligible for short-term disability payments in case he is incapable to work due to having coronavirus or being exposed to the novel coronavirus.
In case an employee already has a coronavirus, he must submit a medical certification signed by either by a doctor or public health officer, which must contain the following information:
- A diagnosis of a coronavirus
- The start date of the illness
- Probable duration of inability to work
In case an employee is quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure or potential exposure, he must be able to qualify for a short-term disability benefit if his quarantine is certified by a doctor or public health officer.
An employee can be able to collect short-term disability benefits in case he was laid off and searching for work at the time he became unable to work due to coronavirus or coronavirus exposure. Though in this case a person can’t collect unemployment benefits and SDI at the same time.
When Can a Person Start Receiving Benefits?
California has waived the seven-day waiting period for collecting benefits and an eligible employee can start to receive SDI benefits for the first day off work.
How to Submit a Claim for SDI?
An employee can submit your SDI claim online on the EDD’s website at SDI Online. After filing a claim, a person must give his form receipt number to his doctor so that he can submit the medical certification at SDI Online.
A person can also qualify for benefits under the new federal emergency paid sick leave law.
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