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Frequently asked questions

Q:  Do I have to be working for a certain amount of days/ months/ years to be eligible for SDI?

A:  Eligibility for SDI is based in the earnings shown in your base period. Your base period does not include wages paid at the time your disability begins.

Q:  Are self-employed individuals eligible for SDI?

A:  Self-employed individuals or employers may be eligible for SDI under a program called Disability Insurance Elective Coverage (EC). EC premiums are based on the net profit you reported on IRS schedule SE for the previous tax year. Weekly benefit amounts range from $50 to $336, up to a maximum of 39 weeks and are determined using the quarterly income credits as reported on the IRS Form 1040, Schedule SE. EC applications may be obtained through your local Employment Tax Customer Service Office (ETCSO) or EDD Tax Branch.

Q:  How many days must you be off work to receive SDI Benefits?

A:  You must be disabled at least 8 calendar days (this includes the 7 day waiting period) to collect benefits.

Q:  How do you determine my weekly benefit amount for SDI? How much will I receive?

A:  Weekly benefit amounts are calculated using a base period. A base period covers 12 months and is divided into four consecutive quarters or three months each.

If your claim begins in February, March or April, your base period is the 12 months ending last September 30.

If your claim begins in May, June or July, your base period is the 12 months ending last December 31.

If your claim begins in August, September, or October, your base period is the 12 months ending last March 31.


If your claim begins in November, December or January, your base period is the 12 months ending last June 30.


My doctor says I will be disabled for over a year. How long can I collect SDI benefits?

A:  You may collect up to 52 weeks of full SDI benefits, or the amount of wages in your base period, which ever is less.


Q:  If I am pregnant, can I file a claim for SDI benefits? If so, for how long?


A:  Yes. 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 date. However, the doctor may certify a longer period if the delivery is accomplished by Cesarean section, if there are medical complications, or if the claimant is unable to perform her regular job duties.


Q:  I was on disability for a few weeks and now my doctors tell me I can return to work part-time. Will I still receive SDI benefits?


A:  Yes, SDI will pay benefits up to your regular salary, limited to the amount of your weekly benefit. That is, SDI will “make up” the difference between your “regular” salary and your new wage loss. However, this will never be in excess of your weekly benefit rate. Since each situation is different, if you return to work on a part-time basis, please contact SDI for clarification.


Q:  If I regularly work part-time, am I still eligible for SDI benefits?


A:  You may receive benefits as long as you have at least $300 in gross wages in your base period, are suffering a loss of wages, and meet other basic eligible requirements.


Q:  If I know of someone who is defrauding the SDI program, what should I do?


A:  If you suspect or know of SDI fraud, contact SDI or call the EDD Fraud Tip Hot-Line at 1-800-229-6297.

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