State Disability Insurance FAQs

1. What is SDI, and whom does it cover?

State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a partial short-term wage-replacement insurance plan for California workers currently in the labor market. SDI is a state-run program that provides coverage for approximately 13 million California workers.

• SDI covers any illness or injury, either physical or mental, that prevents you from doing your regular or customary work. Disability also includes elective surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
• SDI provides coverage for two programs: Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL).

2. Who administers SDI?

SDI is a division of the state’s Employment Development Department(EDD). However, its operation is totally separate from the Unemployment Insurance division of EDD. The SDI division is very efficient, and routinely processes claims within 14 days.

3. Is SDI taxable, like unemployment insurance?

SDI is not taxable unless you are collecting it in lieu of unemployment benefits. Paid Family Leave is always taxable.

4. How much will it cost me if we elect to join SDI?

SDI is fully employee funded through State-mandated payroll deductions. The SDI 2011 withholding rate is 1.2% of gross income; the yearly wage limit is $93,316, with a maximum yearly employee contribution of $1,119.79. Only LRCFT income is subject to the deduction.

5. If I need to use SDI, how much money will I get per week?

SDI provides partial wage replacement, which is approximately 55% of income for workers currently in the labor market. But SDI works with the employer to blend the SDI benefit with your accumulated sick leave, so you can receive 100% of your salary for an extended period.

6. How long can I continue to claim benefits?

SDI provides partial wage replacement benefits for up to 52 weeks per claim. Paid Family Leave provides partial wage replacement benefits for up to 6 weeks within a rolling 12-month period.

7. Do I need to make a claim in person at an EDD office?

SDI is designed to serve you by mail. You do not need to appear in person to apply for or receive benefits.


Useful links to SDI information

“A Brief Introduction to SDI” from Andrea York, Director of Government Relations for the

Disability Insurance Provisions Brochure:

State Disability Insurance Program Fact Sheet:

Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) Weekly Benefit Amounts:

Paid Family Leave Brochure:

Paid Family Leave Fact Sheet: