California State Disability

There is no denying of the fact that nobody can foretell when accidents might happen or for that matter when an illness may cause one to become disabled, thus making one unfit for work. It may take time for you to recover from such illness or injury. So, the question arises- do you have enough savings to support your living expenses? Your monthly obligations? Or your children’s education?

More importantly, do you wait until such a situation occurs before you decide?

Now is the time to think about the future.  For those living in California, the future consists of the security that California state disability insurance affords.  

As a program that provides inexpensive, short-term monetary benefits to workers who experience a decrease in income after the occurrence of a disability, California state disability insurance pays benefits that replace part of the disabled person’s wages and paid every other week.

Since the California state disability insurance is a state-mandated program, most employees are covered under this program. The only few exceptions include the following employees:

Railroad employees
Employees who claim religious exemptions
Some employees of non-profit organizations
Most government employees


In order to be eligible for the benefits under California state disability insurance, you must have paid into the state disability insurance fund with a payroll deduction through a California employer. Self-employed individuals may also enroll by paying into elective coverage.


There are many definitions of disability. To qualify for California state disability benefits, your disability must be one as defined by the Social Security Administration.

According to the Social Security Administration, disability means the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which ca be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

Under the same provision, “blindness” is considered a disability covered under California state disability insurance. Such blindness is defined as “central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens.”

Common Disabilities

The disability may be physical medical problems or mental medical problems. Under the Listing of Impairments, a manual of disorders classified by the Social Security Administration and which can be classified as disabilities eligible under California state disabilities, the following are the fourteen major categories:

Musculoskeletal disorders
Special senses and speech disorders
Respiratory system disorders
Cardiovascular system disorders
Digestive system disorders
Genitor-urinary system disorders
Hematological system disorders
Skin disorders
Endocrine system disorders
Multiple body systems disorders
Neurological disorders
Mental disorders
Malignant neoplastic diseases
Immune system disorders

Under each category are specific types of disorders and how severe the condition must be in order for the individual that has such a disorder to qualify for California state disability insurance.