California Disability Laws and Provisions


The Disability Insurance Branch of California Employment Development Department administers disability insurance benefits for disabled workers and employees in the state of California, US.

The entire working population is covered by at least one of the three California State Disability Insurance (SDI) schemes. These include the State Plan, Voluntary Plan and Elective Coverage.

There are several benefits that a worker enjoys under California disability scheme of SDI. The insurance in compulsory and requires only a nominal amount to be deducted every month. It does not necessitate staying in a particular organisation. It travels with the worker, as he/she switches from one job to another. An eligible employee’s benefits do not get cancelled if he/she has any pre-existing diseases or medical conditions. SDI can pay up to fifty-two weeks of benefits, with a nominal waiting period for claim processing.

The State Plan covers majority of California’s working population. Under this plan, a minimal amount is deducted each month from the salary of employees and contributed to the State fund. This plan offers alternate income to a person in event of a disability.

A worker may also apply for Supplemental Security Income if the disability lasts or is expected to last for more than a year. Worker’s compensation benefits may get paid for disabilities other than work-related. Apart from these, there is also a separate insurance plan for unemployed, disabled workers run by the State as a part of the SDI scheme.

Disability according to SDI is any physical or mental sickness or injury that prevents a worker from fulfilling his/her regular and routine work. There are certain set terms and conditions that a claimant must fulfill to qualify for disability benefits under the State plan.

Another California disability plan is the Voluntary plan. This is primarily a privately run plan designed to substitute the State plan. Employers and employees may by mutual consent establish voluntary insurance plans. Terms and conditions too are usually decided by mutual accord between the workers and the management.

Elective coverage may provide disability insurance cover if employers and self-employed persons chose to elect coverage. There is an annual cost of participation decided by California Employment Development Department. The same department can also furnish information relating to the terms of the plan and the eligibility requirements.

California disability insurance plans, thus, attempt to provide insurance coverage to all working citizens of California in the unfortunate event of a disability, so that the basic needs of all individuals are fulfilled even under the oddest of circumstances.