EDD stands for the Employment Development Department in the state of California. It is a state-run agency that handles different employment and disability issues. Disability Insurance (DI) is one of the services provided by EDD. DI provides short-term benefits to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because of a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.

How does the EDD define disability?

The EDD’s defines disability as: Any physical or mental illness or injury which prevents you from performing your regular and customary work.

EDD disability also includes other conditions such as:

  • Elective surgery;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Childbirth; or
  • Related medical conditions

Work-related disabilities are typically covered by workers’ compensation laws. However, DI benefits can also be used for work-related illnesses or injuries under certain conditions. In order to get your DI benefits, you can file an online claim for benefits. In order to get your DI benefits, you can file a claim for the benefits online or fill out a paper claim form.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

You have to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for the disability benefits. You must:

  • Be unable to perform your regular or customary work for at least eight days;
  • Have lost wages because of the disability;
  • Either be employed or actively looking for work at the time the disability begins;
  • Have earned at least three hundred dollars from which deductions for State Disability Insurance (SDI) were withheld during your base period;
  • Complete and submit the claim form no earlier than nine days after your first day of disability. This claim form must be submitted no later than forty-nine days after your disability begins. If you do not do this, you may lose benefits;
  • Get the care and treatment of a licensed physician/practitioner or an accredited religious practitioner within the first eight days of your disability; AND
  • Have your physician/practitioner certify to your disability.
    • To do this, the physician/practitioner must fill out the medical certification portion of your disability claim. A nurse practitioner can also certify a disability that is within the scope of their practice. However, a nurse practitioner has to perform a physical examination and collaborate with a physician or surgeon.

Once you have submitted your Disability Insurance (DI) claim, your employer will be notified. But your medical information will remain confidential and will not be shared with your employer.

What are Some of the Other Types of Coverage?

State Disability Insurance (SDI) has many different types of Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) claims such as:

  • Pregnancy: Your pregnancy claim starts when you have a loss of wages. Your physician/practitioner must also confirm that you are in a condition such that you cannot perform your regular duties.
  • Paid Family Leave (PFL) Bonding: This provides benefits to workers who have to take time off to bond with a new child. This applies to children who are entering the family by either birth, adoption or foster care placement.
  • Part-Time Worker – DI and PFL: Part-time workers who are unable to perform their regular or customary work. They must also have experienced a wage loss for at least eight consecutive days because of disability or family care.
  • Voluntary Plan (VP) – DI and PFL: Under California law, an employer or a majority of employees can apply for the approval of a Voluntary Plan (VP) for the payment of DI and PFL benefits. Typically, DI and PFL benefits are covered by SDI. In order to be approved, a Voluntary Plan (VP) cannot cost employees more than SDI. It must also provide all the same benefits as SDI and at least one benefit that is better than SDI. 

Should I Contact a Lawyer?

If you are not sure if you qualify for disability benefits, you may want to consult an experienced employment law attorney. Speaking with an attorney may also be helpful if you think that you are not receiving disability benefits which you are entitled to.