Benchmark Institute is a training and performance development
organization dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of
legal services to low-income communities.
The laws governing SDI are found in the Unemployment
Insurance Code. The California Employment Development Department (EDD)
administers SDI. Only Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii and
Puerto Rico offer a disability insurance program; each operates
independently of the others.
Most workers covered by UIB also are covered by (SDI) which is financed
entirely through a payroll tax withheld from employee earnings. SDI is
available when a worker cannot work because of sickness or injury not
caused by employment. In some instances workers may receive SDI if their
Worker's Compensation benefits are less than their SDI benefits.
Disability is defined as any mental or physical illness or injury which
prevents an employee from performing their regular work (UI Code Section
2626) including elective surgery and disabling medical conditions
resulting from pregnancy or childbirth.
To be eligible for SDI, claimants must be unable to perform their regular
work, have a loss of wages because of their disability, be disabled for at
least eight calendar days, be under a doctor or practitioner's care and
treatment who certifies that the claimant is disabled, file a timely
claim, be employed or actively looking for employment when the disability
begins, and have earned at least $300 from which SDI taxes were withheld
during a previous 12 month base period.
Paid Family Leave
Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) program, the Paid Family
Leave insurance program, the first of its kind in the United States.
PFL makes paid leave equally available to mothers and fathers. It provides
paid leave for the care of a seriously ill child, spouse, domestic
partner, or parent. The paid-leave insurance program applies to all
employees who are covered by the State Disability Insurance program.
Compensation for covered leave will be funded by employee contributions.
The statute specifically provides PFL leave must be taken concurrently
with leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act and the California
Family Rights Act.
A useful chart compares the CFRA/FMLA ─ enforced by DFEH ─ and PFL.