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If you are a resident working in the state of California, you are required to pay into an SDI, or short-term disability insurance program, which is administered by California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). This is done via a paycheck deduction. If an employee cannot do their job because of a disability, they can receive weekly benefits until either they expire or the injured party can return to work. Read more about this program as well as how a California short-term disability lawyer can help.

Disability Basics

Disability is defined as when a doctor certifies that you are unable to do the typical duties of your work according to the EDD. There are two other categories that are included: pregnancy, where you can normally collect SDI two to four weeks before your due date and for four weeks after birth, and elective and cosmetic surgery, where recovery is covered as long as a doctor certifies the time off.

Eligibility for SDI payments is activated when an employee has earned at least $300 in wages during a company’s’ “base period,” if the amount was taken out of their pay. To receive disability payments, a worker must miss eight consecutive days of work, plus be under the care of a doctor and have medical certification that they are not able to work.

Can Disability Be Lost?

While it is easy to qualify for SDI, there are cases where an employee can lose this form of coverage. These include:

  • Missing a doctor’s appointment that was set up by the EDD
  • Being unable to work due to a felony
  • Incarcerated after a crime conviction
  • Already receiving unemployment benefits
  • On sick leave that is equal to amount to the worker’s full salary or wages
  • Collecting paid benefits for family leave benefits
  • Has payments from worker’s compensation that are more than what would be received via SDI

SDI Payment Information

When you receive payment from SDI, it will be based on how much you earned during a set base period. The payment will be 55% of the average wages paid by your company during the quarter of the base period you earned the most money.  As of 2017, the most that can be received is $1,173. Before filing, it is best to look at the EDD website to learn the start dates for each base period as well as charts of weekly benefit amounts.

Depending on how long you are out of work, you can receive payments for up to 52 weeks. There are exceptions: those that are self-employed can only get a maximum of 29 weeks, and people in drug or alcohol rehab only get 90 days. Other benefits can have an impact on your SDI as well. Money can be subtracted from a payment for sick pay/paid time off as well as social security disability. There is no effect, however, for paid vacation time.

How a California Short-Term Disability Lawyer Can Help

While no one wants to miss any time off work, knowing the steps to take when it comes to SDI can help alleviate some of the potential financial issues that can arise. Before filing a claim, have an experienced law firm on your side. At the Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour, we have helped clients in Colton and surrounding areas get all the information needed about SDI since 1994. Call us today at (877) 668-9510 or visit us online.

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