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Everything To Know About Temporary Disability California

Last updated: November 18, 2023

California provides workers with temporary disability benefits to help injured workers get back on their feet. Permanent injuries can be catastrophic and leave real implications on people's lives. It makes sense that many people would seek restitution for the harm that wasn't their responsibility. 

Victims bring a personal injury lawsuit to seek restitution for the damage they experienced. Are Americans filing personal injury claims regularly?

In addition, fewer than 51 million working people in the United States have any disability insurance beyond the fundamental protection provided by Social Security. Read on to learn more about injuries and temporary disabilities in California and how to file them when in need.

What is Temporary Disability in California?

Temporary disability is a program that benefits individuals who have suffered an illness or injury that prevents them from working temporarily. In California, temporary disability is offered through the SDI (State Disability Insurance) program, administered by the EDD (Employment Development Department). 

This program provides a safety net for workers who cannot work caused by an injury or illness. Workers must contribute a small percentage of their monthly income to the program through payroll deductions. If they have a temporary disability, they can get weekly benefits until they can return to work or the benefits expire. 

Eligibility Requirements 

To be eligible for temporary disability benefits in California, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Paid into SDI through payroll deductions or self-employment taxes
  • Earned at least $300 in wages from which SDI deductions were withheld
  • Unable to work for at least eight consecutive days due to an injury, illness or pregnancy-related condition
  • You must have a certification from a licensed medical practitioner stating that you are unable to work due to your medical condition

What Is Considered Temporary Disability?

A temporary disability is a mental or physical condition that temporarily stops you from accomplishing your usual work duties. Some common conditions that may qualify for temporary disability benefits include the following:

  • Injuries from accidents or falls
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Pregnancy-related complications
  • Mental health conditions
  • Chronic illnesses that temporarily prevent you from working

Benefits of Temporary Disability In 2023

The benefits of temporary disability in California include:

  • Weekly benefit payments: You may receive up to 60-70% of your average weekly wage, with a maximum weekly benefit amount of $1,620 as of 2023. The benefit amount before your disability began is based on your earnings in 5 to 18 months.
  • Paid time off: You can receive up to 52 weeks of temporary disability benefits in a benefit year.
  • Job protection: Your employer must hold your job open for up to 12 weeks while you are on temporary disability.

Application Process

To apply for temporary disability benefits in California, you need to file a claim with the Employment Development Department (EDD) by providing personal information, employer details, and the reason for your disability. You can file your claim online or by mail. 

After filing a claim, you need to obtain a medical certification from a licensed healthcare provider stating that you cannot work due to your medical condition. Once you have submitted your claim and medical certification, the EDD will review your claim and determine your eligibility for benefits. You will receive weekly benefit payments based on your average weekly wage if your claim is approved.

How To Get Disqualified From Temporary Disability in California

Several circumstances under which a worker may be disqualified from receiving SDI benefits in California. Here are some examples:

  • The injury or illness is not certified by a medical professional
  • The worker is not actively seeking medical treatment or missed a doctor's appointment that the EDD set up
  • The worker can work with reasonable accommodations
  • The worker is receiving unemployment benefits; paid family leave benefits, or sick leave benefits 
  • The worker is receiving workers' compensation payments that are higher than the SDI benefits

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to commonly asked questions:

1. How Does Temporary Disability Work In California? 

Temporary disability insurance (TDI) in California provides partial wage replacement benefits to eligible workers who cannot work due to a non-work-related illness or injury. If approved, workers can receive partial benefits for up to 52 weeks, with a seven-day waiting period and a maximum weekly benefit amount set by the state. 

To apply, workers must file a claim with the EDD and obtain a medical certification from a licensed healthcare provider.

2. How much does temporary disability pay in California?

If you are eligible for TDI benefits, you can receive up to 60-70% of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum weekly benefit amount set by the state. As of 2023, the minimum weekly benefit is $50, and the maximum weekly benefit amount is $1,620.

3. How long can you be on temporary disability in California?

Benefits are typically paid out for up to 52 weeks in 12 months. The actual time you can receive TDI benefits depends on various factors, including the severity of your medical condition and your ability to return to work.

Temporary disability benefits in California are generous as long as you meet the qualification criteria. If you're a worker in the state, keep your SDI payments updated to get these benefits. Can you collect Short-Term Disability and Social Security at the same time? Read here to find out.

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Cheri Hermanson
Cheri leads our team of writers in producing the best quality content there is regarding society and disability, most especially those that helps ease the quality of life for our differently-abled loved ones.
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