Employment Development Department (EDD)

The Employment Development Department is a state agency that provides a variety of job-related services to California workers. One of their main functions is to manage the State Disability Insurance program. This program covers partial wage displacement benefits for workers with disabilities in California. If you would like a free consultation with a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney, they can explain the difference between disability insurance and workers’ compensation as well as explain the eligibility requirements and how to file a claim for disability insurance. Our Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorneys want to make sure you receive the benefits you need to recover from an injury. Contact us today to learn more.  

What is the difference between workers’ compensation and disability insurance?

When you are injured at work, you typically file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Once your employer has received your claim, they are required to authorize up to $10,000 in medical treatment while evaluating your claim. However, more often than not, your employer will dispute the claim because they may not believe your injury is work-related. It is especially common for employees with a cumulative injury or a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by their work. While your claim is being disputed, you may be unable to work and unable to receive any temporary disability benefits. 

If you find yourself in this type of situation, you can file for disability insurance benefits. Disability insurance covers partial wage displacement benefits through the California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. State disability insurance covers most employees in California and is deducted from their paychecks. However, most government employees, like teachers, are exempt from paying into state disability insurance. Employees can claim a religious exemption, non-resident alien exemption, or temporary student exemption.  

Disability Insurance benefits are temporary and paid weekly. You cannot receive disability insurance benefits and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. If you do, you will have to repay. 

Are there eligibility requirements for disability insurance benefits?

To be eligible to receive disability insurance benefits, you must: 

  • Be unable to do your regular work for at least eight consecutive days due to your disability
  • Have lost wages due to your disability
  • Be employed or actively seeking work when your disability occurred
  • Be evaluated by a physician within eight days of your disability and continue seeing that physician in order to continue receiving benefits
  • Not currently be receiving workers’ compensation benefits
  • Have state disability insurance deductions of at least $300 taken from your paycheck during a 12-month period. 
How do you file a claim for disability insurance?

After you have determined if you are eligible, you need to file a claim for disability insurance benefits (DE 2501). You can submit your claim online or by mail. The earliest you can submit your claim is nine days after your disability started but no later than 49 days. The date you became unable to work is the start date of your disability. It is important to note that you cannot change the start date of your disability during the claims process. During this time, you must have your doctor certify your disability. They can do so through SDI Online or by mailing part B of the DE 2501 claim form. 

Once you have completed all the necessary documentation, the EDD will review your claim. You will generally receive a response within two weeks of submitting your claim. However, if the EDD requests additional information, it could be longer. Once the EDD has determined your eligibility, you will serve a seven-day waiting period before you start receiving benefits. 

How does the EDD determine my benefit payments?

Disability Insurance benefits are paid weekly and can range from $50 to $1,252. To receive the maximum weekly benefits, you must have earned at least $27,126.67 in a quarter. Your weekly benefit amount is generally about 60 to 70 percent of the pay you had earned in the past 5 to 18 months before your disability manifested. 

You can only receive disability insurance benefits for a maximum of 52 weeks. If you and your doctor believe your disability will not be resolved in a year, it is recommended you apply for social security disability benefits. 

Your weekly benefit amount will also take into account any other income you receive, including paid time off and sick leave pay, while also receiving disability insurance benefits. Your benefits could be reduced if you have not paid court-ordered child support or spousal support or if you were overpaid for a previous state disability insurance or unemployment insurance claim. To avoid these situations, it is essential to report all income to the EDD. 

Once you’re approved for benefits, you can choose to receive your benefit payments either by check or through the EDD Debit Card from Bank of America. If you chose to receive your benefits via check, it can take 7-10 days for delivery.

What can Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorneys do?

Receiving the benefits you need to recover from a work-related injury can be a daunting and confusing process. The team at Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, P.C. are here to make the process as easy and as painless as possible. If your workers’ compensation claim is being disputed and you aren’t able to receive temporary disability benefits, you may be able to receive disability insurance. A Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney can help you determine if you are eligible and walk you through the workers’ compensation process. Contact us today for a free consultation.