EDD Disability | Employment Development Department of California

EDD Disability – Overview

The State of California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) is part of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. Under this program, eligible individuals are provided partial income replacement benefits.

This program aims to provide financial assistance to California workers who cannot work due to a non-work-relation illness, injury or pregnancy. The EDD pays SDI compensation to California workers through employee payroll deductions.

Disability insurance does not offer job protection but only provides monetary benefits. However, you may have job protection through other state or federal laws, such as FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act).

What is EDD Disability?

EDD Disability

What is EDD Disability?

The EDD disability insurance (DI) defines disability as any injury or illness (mental or physical) that prevents an individual from performing their regular and customary work. The disability may also include pregnancy, childbirth, elective surgery and other similar medical conditions.

Though several workers’ compensation laws cover work-related disabilities, EDD DI benefits can also be used to pay for work-related injuries or illnesses under certain circumstances.

Candidates eligible for the EDD DI program can expect compensation of as much as 60% to 70% of wages earned, depending on income earned, within 5 to 18 months from the date of claim started. Eligible individuals can receive EDD DI benefits for up to 52 weeks at a stretch.

If you want to receive EDD DI benefits, then you will need to follow the steps given below:

  • File a claim for the EDD DI program through the mail or online
  • Complete the 7-day unpaid waiting period
  • Show proof of having earned a minimum of USD 300 in wages, subject to SDI deductions during the 12-month base period of the claim.
  • Have your disability certified by a medical practitioner/physician through Physician/Practitioner Certification.

How Are EDD Disability Benefits Paid?

EDD Disability

How Are EDD Disability Benefits Paid?

If you are found to be eligible for EDD DI benefits, then the EDD will issue payments using one of two methods:

Payment by mail – If you choose this service, then the EDD-issued DI benefits payment will be issued by an EDD check, which you can expect in 7 to 10 working days by conventional mail.

Electronic payment – If you choose this feature, your EDD DI benefits payment will be directly deposited to a Debit Card issued in your name.

You can expect to receive EDD DI benefits soon after you prove you meet all eligibility requirements. The EDD will authorize your benefits as soon as you are deemed to be eligible. These benefits are usually paid based on daily eligibility within seven days of proving eligibility.

This rate is usually around 1/7th of your weekly benefit amount. Remember, you should allow ten days from receiving confirmation for the DI benefits.

How are EDD DI Benefits Calculated?

The EDD DI benefit amounts are normally set according to the wages earned by the applicant during a 12-month period base period. This base period is decided according to the date your claim is in effect.

You should carefully consider the day you start your claim, as this may affect your weekly benefit rate. Besides this, the application date will also determine the maximum benefit amount and the duration of your benefits eligibility.

To qualify, an individual must have earned at least USD 300 during the base period. The month your claim becomes effective determines which of the four consecutive fiscal quarters are used.

For instance, if your claim begins in January, February or March, your base period is considered 12 months, ending on the last date of September. In simple words, if a claim begins on 14 February 2021, then the base period is considered from 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020.

What Will Affect EDD DI Benefits?

In case your claim is classified as invalid, but you can prove employment or job-searching for 60 days (or more) in any quarter of the base period, then you may be eligible for substitute wages paid in the last quarter.

You may have the right to substitute wages paid in previous fiscal year quarters to validate your claim or increase the benefit amount. However, the criteria for this include the following:

  • Having served in the military
  • Receiving workers’ compensation benefits
  • Having not worked because of a labor dispute

If your circumstances fit any of the above, you should include a letter along with supporting documentation and the claims form.

EDD Disability – FAQs

Who is eligible for EDD benefits for disabilities?

Employees must fulfill the eligibility requirements to qualify for the EDD disability payments. To be eligible for EDD disability payments, they must be unable to perform their usual employment duties for at least eight days due to illness or injury.

How long do EDD benefits last?

EDD DI payments are available to eligible people for a maximum of 52 consecutive weeks. Candidates who meet the requirements for the EDD DI program receive compensation of up to 60% to 70% of their salary. The amount depends on their income between 5 to 18 months after filing the claim.

What does the California State Disability Insurance Program provide?

The California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program offers Paid Family Leave (PFL) and short-term Disability Insurance (DI)  to eligible employees. If a non-work-related illness, accident, pregnancy, or delivery prevents you from working, you can apply for Disability Insurance (DI).


As an applicant for the EDD DI program, you have the right to know the reason and basis for any decision that affects your disability benefits. Therefore, you should appeal any decision regarding your eligibility for benefits. You can send the appeal directly to the DI office in writing.

Then, request an appeal hearing before an ALJ (Administrative Law Judge). You can even appeal the judge’s decision to your state’s Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the local civil courts.

Find out more details and information on eligibility criteria and benefits of EDD DI by visiting the official website at https://edd.ca.gov/en/Disability/About_DI.

See Also

Long Term Disability Insurance

Coinsurance vs Copay

Dental Insurance for Senior Citizens

NSO Insurance

EIDL Grant

Current Version
September 17, 2023
Fact Checked By
Andrea Morales G.

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