Can I Receive Short Term Disability Insurance Payments?
What is Short-Term Disability Leave?
Short term disability, also known as Short Term Disability Insurance (SDI) is a state-mandated, partial wage replacement insurance plan for California employees. SDI is not a leave of absence, but essentially it is a way for employees who are injured in a non-work-related injury to receive some help for bills and other life’s necessities.
Am I Eligible For Short-Term Disability Leave?
In order to receive SDI, the employee must be covered by the plan. Employers with one or more employees are covered by California SDI plans.
On the other hand, employees are covered immediately upon employment and as soon as the need for leave rises. However, the employee must have earned at least $300 from which the SDI deductions were held. The employee can receive SDI wages for a maximum of 52 weeks. Further, employees can only receive SDI benefits when on leave because of his or hers own non-work-related injury that results in a loss of wages.
Another requirement is that employee seeking SDI must be disabled. An employee is disabled on any day in which the employee is 1) certified disabled by a physician, 2) ordered not to work by a State or local health organization or, 3) being medically treated for acute alcoholism or drug induced illness.
Not all employees are covered for SDI payments. These employees include:
- Individuals performing ministerial duties.
- School district and local government personnel.
- State employees
- Individuals who rely on prayer for healing
- Individuals performing domestic service
How Much Short-Term Disability Money Can I Receive?
The SDI program generally pays 60-70% of the wages you earned before your disability. This number is also dependent on how long you work before the disability.
Can I Get Both Unemployment Benefits and Short-Term Disability Insurance?
It is also important to note, that you cannot receive both short-term disability insurance and unemployment benefits at the same time. If you can’t work because of an injury, then you may be able eligible for SDI but not unemployment insurance. For more information on whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits, click here.
How Do I File For Short-Term Disability Leave?
There are three types of SDI plans. There is the 1) state plan, 2) a voluntary plan, and 3) elective coverage.
A state plan is operated by the Employment Development Department (EDD). This plan covers the majority of employees. Further, the voluntary plan is a plan that the employer provides with approval from the EDD. Lastly, elective coverage is designed for small businesses and is again administered by the EDD.
- The first step is to identify which type of coverage your employer offers.
- Next, fill out an application. You can do that directly on the EDD’s websiteor you can contact the Human Resources (HR) department of your employer. Another option is to ask your union for a form to sign-up for short-term disability insurance.
- File a claim. You’ll need to gather all of your doctor’s reports, bills, and restrictions.
- Notify your employer that you are disabled. Again, you’ll have to provide your employer with reports, bills, and restrictions.
- Wait to get approved. There is about a seven day waiting period to find out whether you are approved for your short-disability money and leave.
When Can I File For Short-Term Disability Leave?
You can file for Short Term Disability as soon as you start your employment AND the need for leave arises. The need for leave arises when the employee suffers a non-work-related injury that results in a loss of wages. However, the employee must have earned at least $300 in SDI that were withheld by the employer.
Further, the employee MUST file a claim for SDI within 49 days of the first day of disability.
Do I Have To Work While On Short-Term Disability Leave?
You can work while you are on short term disability insurance. However, your SDI benefit amount is dependent on how much you’re receiving in relation to your new wages. If the new amount of wages from your new job is lower than your pre-disability wages, you’ll keep on receiving your SDI money. If that amount is higher than your pre-disability wages, your SDI benefit will be reduced based on a pro-rate calculation
Will Short-Term Disability Leave Conflict With FMLA or CFRA Leave?
You are allowed to take short-term disability concurrently with your Family & Medical Leave Act leave (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leave. Further, the employee eligible for SDI benefits could receive those benefits during the FMLA/CFRA leave and up to an additional 40 weeks of SDI benefits beyond the right to the protected leave.
Can I Be Fired While On Short-Term Disability Leave?
A common misconception is that an employee who goes out on SDI leave has a right to protected leave of absence as long as he/she collects SDI. However, employers are not obligated to hold out jobs while an employee is on SDI. But an employee can take short term disability concurrently with protected leave with the family and medical leave actor the California family rights act. Therefore, if an employee is wrongfully terminated while he/she is concurrently taking both SDI and FMLA/CFRA, then an attorney might help procure financial compensation for such a loss.
Contact Short-Term Disability Lawyers Now To Receive a Free Consultation!
At Miracle Mile Law Group, our lawyers handle long-term or short-term disability claims for employees all over California. Our lawyers previously defended large corporations who would deny these types of claims unfairly. That gives us the upper hand because our lawyers know how big companies try to screw over everyday employees.